European Union firms in Iran caught between U.S. and Europe

07 August, 2018, 17:09 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • Iran FM says Trump, Mohammed Bin Salman, Netanyahu are ‘isolated’

But his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani dismissed the idea of talks while crippling sanctions were in force.

The US has re-imposed tough, unilateral sanctions against Iran, bringing back into effect harsh penalties that had been lifted under a historic, multi-party nuclear agreement that US President Donald Trump abandoned in May.

Washington suspended the financial measures under the 2015 deal under which worldwide sanctions were lifted in return for curbs on Iran's nuclear programme.

The agreement placed unprecedented curbs on Iran's nuclear program, subjecting it to a rigorous inspection regime in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from worldwide sanctions.

Administration officials, meanwhile, pointed to Iran's ongoing civil unrest and economic woes and reiterated Trump's openness to meeting with Iranian leaders in announcing the sanctions action on Monday.

The Trump administration moved to restore some U.S. sanctions on Iran and reaffirmed plans to impose tougher penalties on the country's oil sales in November, as President Hassan Rouhani comes under increasing economic and political pressure to address the crisis.

He said Iran would simply "batten down the hatches" until the next U.S. election.

As part of the sanctions that Donald Trump has reimposed on Iran, one of the industries that is going to be hit hard is vehicle production.

Iranian officials in general are downplaying the impact of those sanctions, with President Rouhani labeling them "psychological warfare", and saying that their goal is to cause chaos across the region.

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China, Russia and Turkey have already indicated that they would not comply with the unilateral USA sanctions. Speaking in a television interview, he also demanded compensation for decades of American "intervention" in the Islamic Republic.

"I would think it unlikely to have the effect that entities will return to Iran if they have already decided that it is not in their commercial and legal interests to be there", she told RT.

Whether to comply with USA sanctions or keep doing business in Iran is a "purely economic decision", one senior official argued.

He dismissed a U.S. call for talks, saying "we are always in favour of diplomacy and talks..."

The Blocking Statute was introduced in 1996 in response to United States extra-territorial sanctions against companies operating in Cuba, Iran and Libya. "I can't afford to buy food, pay the rent." said a construction worker on the streets of the capital.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters the global reaction to Trump's move showed that the USA was diplomatically "isolated", but acknowledged the sanctions "may cause some disruption".

"Most of the companies have already made up their mind, whether it's the German Siemens, the French carmaker PSA, the Danish Maersk - all these companies that have said they don't want to risk losing access to the United States market, they don't want to risk losing access to the financing in dollars by USA banks, and also they don't want to lose their U.S. shareholders".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said sanctions are an important pillar in US policy toward Iran and will remain in place until the Iranian government radically changes course. "If the ayatollahs want to get out from under the squeeze, they should come and sit down. That's the ask. It's pretty simple", said Pompeo, en route Sunday from a three-nation trip to Southeast Asia.

"If you're an enemy and you stab the other person with a knife and then you say you want negotiations, then the first thing you have to do is remove the knife".

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