Sunday, 23 September, 2018

United States ready to impose sanctions on European companies in Iran, Bolton says

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Melinda Barton | 17 May, 2018, 11:18

The agreement on the Iranian nuclear program between Iran and the six global mediators (Russia, USA, UK, France, China, Germany) was concluded on 14 July 2015. European diplomats have complained that the Trump administration pulled out of the Iran agreement when they were still eager to continue consultations and without explaining Washington's new nuclear demands on Tehran.

"Major reasons for the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA on the Iranian nuclear program are not linked to the agreement itself, but to Washington's approach to Tehran's policy in the Middle East, he said".

Tehran is being given assurances that European governments will seek to protect companies doing business in Iran from renewed USA sanctions, as foreign ministers prepare to meet in Brussels to salvage the nuclear deal.

"If I can use the metaphor that some raised around the table, we all have a relative in intensive care and we all want to get him or her out of intensive care as soon as possible", she said. They might help shield European businesses from USA penalties but have never been used.

It's true that European powers tried to save the JCPOA by proposing a package that addressed Trump's concerns about the agreement. "The agreement against nuclear weapons in Iran is an agreement that certainly has weaknesses, but an agreement that we should stand for". The U.S. Treasury announced on Tuesday more sanctions on officials of the Iranian central bank, including Governor Valiollah Seif, for allegedly moving millions of dollars on behalf of the country's Revolutionary Guards Corps to Lebanon's Shi'ite Hezbollah group.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi met with Helga Schmid, the European Union's deputy political director, in Brussels on Monday.

Khamenei said last week he was highly doubtful that Europe would provide the "real guarantees" needed for Iran to stay in the nuclear deal. Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, has backed Trump on the treaty and called Iran the "biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world".

"If the nuclear deal is to continue, the interests of the people of Iran must be assured", he added. 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. "What the Iranians hoped to show was not just that they could retaliate against Israel but also that there were costs to the USA decision, and they hoped to contrast their ability to act with Washington's reliance on tough talk".

And on Monday Putin met Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, telling him that Russian Federation was "ready to continue to uphold the Iran nuclear deal despite the withdrawal of the United States".

"The consequences of American sanctions go well beyond goods shipped by American companies", Bolton said.

The regulation, which has been brandished as a threat in the past but never used, was drawn up more than 20 years ago and would have to be revised.

Germany and France, in particular, have established significant trade links with Iran. "They were dishonest actors - so the deal... was made on things that were not accurate, particularly the fact that Iran's nuclear capability was far more advanced and further along than they indicated".