U.S. move on Iran threatens €143m Irish export trade

Elias Hubbard
May 16, 2018

Several Irish firms began trading with Iran, the Middle East's second-largest economy, in the wake of the 2015 deal to control Tehran's nuclear ambitions, which led to the lifting of long-standing worldwide sanctions and the resumption of formal trade ties with several European countries.

However, Trump is getting huge support from a coalition of Muslim nations.

Accordingly, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran would remain in the worldwide nuclear deal in case the country's interests are secured by other parties to the agreement. Putin has long advocated for a new financial system with China that would circumvent the reach of USA sanctions, which also target his country.

U.S. President Donald Trump announces his intention to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement during a statement in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington, U.S. May 8, 2018.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said earlier that Europe should not accept that the U.S.is the "world's economic policeman", or become the USA "vassals" that "obey decisions taken by the United States while clinging to the hem of their pants;" Rather, Le Maire asked, "or do we want to say we have our economic interests, we consider we will continue to do trade with Iran?".

Russian media further cited Zarif as saying that Tehran and Moscow would do their utmost to keep the Iran deal in place less than a week after US President Donald Trump announced Washington's withdrawal from the JCPOA despite earlier global warnings and pleas for the White House not to attack yet another worldwide agreement. Moscow has previously stated its strong support for the agreement. "The policy of the administration is to make sure that Iran never gets close to deliverable nuclear weapons", Bolton told ABC television's This Week program on May 13.

Germany - along with France and Britain - has said it remains committed to the nuclear deal. It also does not have a plan for how else to pressure Iran.

The lack of preparation for a moment the Trump administration has signaled since last October has many experts concerned.

"It's possible", Bolton said. Whatever Trump may fantasize, intelligence professionals say this is not a pre-revolutionary moment in Iran.

Johnson made the comments in parliament on Tuesday in response to a question about whether he thought John Bolton, the U.S. National Security Advisor, was seeking regime change in Tehran.

Le Maire said he had asked U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for temporary or permanent exemptions for French companies, citing carmaker PSA, drug giant Sanofi and food group Danone among those affected - in addition to Renault and oil major Total.

By contrast, President Trump's move was widely hailed by Middle East Sunni countries, foremost Saudi Arabia which views Shi'ite Iran as a mortal threat.

Zarif later told a joint news conference with Lavrov that "the final aim of these negotiations is to seek assurances that the interests of the Iranian nation will be safeguarded".

Israel and its allies have blamed the Iranian Revolutionary Guards for initiating Thursday's exchange by launching missiles into the occupied Golan Heights. Though ineffective, it was the first time Iranian forces had directly fired on Israeli territory. In retaliation, Iran would mobilize allies such as Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, leading to a full-fledged war in Europe's neighborhood, which would put the continent also at risk.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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