Europe, Iran diplomats plan to save nuclear deal

Elias Hubbard
May 16, 2018

"Why would the shareholders of any business want to do business with the world's central banker of worldwide terrorism?" he asked.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the penalties targeted those who had funnelled millions of dollars to the group, funding its "malign activity".

Iran has said it had asked Europe's Airbus to announce whether it would go ahead with a plane deal with Tehran following the United States pull-out.

US President Donald Trump's decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran is forcing global shipping companies, traders, insurers and banks to look at pulling the plug on business with Tehran, it emerged yesterday.

The sanctions, imposed by Trump on Tuesday, would also be backed up secondary sanctions which would penalise countries whose companies continue to trade with Iran. "I certainly stand by what I said at the time, but those are my opinions then", Bolton said Sunday. Trump disclosed a phased reimposition of punitive sanctions, which will further damage an already weakened Iranian economy.

A prominent Iranian cleric is threatening two Israeli cities with destruction if the Jewish state "acts foolishly" and retaliates against it again. Iranian media initially reported the decision based on reports in the foreign media.

German Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Roth on Monday said that it would be "necessary" to discuss the proposed 45-60 day deadline Tehran has given Europe to provide "guarantees" to safeguard Iran's interests after the US' withdrawal from a nuclear accord reached in 2015.

On Thursday, US individuals and entities were barred from doing business with six Iranian individuals and three companies that Washington said had ties to the Revolutionary Guards.

According to Ms Mogherini, the deal is capable of surviving without USA support as long as Iran continues to agree to stand by it.

Each company and bank will have to decide whether to risk being cut off from the US financial system.

Highlighting just how hard it will be, the U.S. Treasury announced on Tuesday more sanctions, including on Iran's central bank governor, just minutes before the Brussels meeting was due to begin.

"Since the signing of the JCPOA (nuclear deal), we have gone from an atmosphere like a gold rush, to one of utter depression", said a Western trade diplomat on condition of anonymity.

Such is the mood in Brussels this week, where European Union leaders are determined to thwart Donald Trump, save the Iran deal, and, perhaps, begin formulating a new foreign policy that might allow the bloc to assert more independence from the basket case on the other side of the Atlantic.

The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights said Saturday that 11 Iranians were among the 27 pro-regime fighters killed in strikes by Israel, which has vowed to prevent Iran gaining a military foothold in neighbouring Syria.

China offers Iran a valuable alternative to trade with the USA and Europe.

Lebanon's Hezbollah, the powerful Shiite guerrilla force that is also a prominent political player in Lebanon, has long helped carry out Iran's foreign policy objectives in the Arabic-speaking world. Iran has deployed its military to support the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his fight versus jihadis. If the latter happens, Iran's nuclear progress could lead to a combined bombing campaign by US and Israel.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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