The European Union (EU) says it deeply regrets the re-imposition of sanctions by the United States (US) against Iran due to the US’ withdrawal from a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the US, due to the latter’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” an EU statement issued Monday, 6 August says.
The EU’s position on the US re-imposition of sanctions against Iran was contained in a joint statement by High Representative Federica Mogherini and Foreign Ministers of E3 (Jean-Yves Le Drian of France, Heiko Maas of Germany, Jeremy Hunt of the United Kingdom).
The statement says the JCPOA is working and delivering on its goal to ensure that the Iranian programme remains exclusively peaceful, as confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 11 consecutive reports.
The EU stresses that it is a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, crucial for the security of Europe, the region, and the entire world.
“We expect Iran to continue to fully implement all its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA,” the EU notes.
The EU suggests that the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions is an essential part of the deal because it aims at having a positive impact, not only on trade and economic relations with Iran, but most importantly on the lives of the Iranian people.
The EU indicates that it is determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran, in accordance with EU law and with UN Security Council resolution 2231.
“This is why the European Union’s updated Blocking Statute enters into force on 7 August to protect EU companies doing legitimate business with Iran from the impact of US extra-territorial sanctions,” the EU says.
According to the EU, the remaining parties to the JCPOA have committed to work on, inter alia, the preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran, and the continuation of Iran’s export of oil and gas.
On these, as on other topics, the EU adds that its work continues, including with third countries interested in supporting the JCPOA and maintaining economic relations with Iran.
He discloses that these efforts will be intensified and reviewed at Ministerial level in the coming weeks. “Preserving the nuclear deal with Iran is a matter of respecting international agreements and a matter of international security,” the EU says.
On 8 May, US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw the US from the JCPOA and to reinstate all previously lifted sanctions under this agreement. The re-imposed US sanctions will come into effect after a “wind-down” period of 90 days (ending 6 August 2018) for certain sanctions and 180 days (ending 4 November 2018) for others.
On 18 May, the Commission initiated several steps to preserve the interests of European companies investing in Iran and to enable the EIB (European Investment Bank) to finance activities in Iran, demonstrating the EU’s commitment to the JCPOA.
On 6 June, the European Commission adopted the updates of the Blocking Statute and of the EIB’s External Lending Mandate, which enter into force on 7 August following the two-month non objection period.
On 6 July, a meeting of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA, convening the EU, E3 (France, Germany and the United Kingdom), Russia, China and Iran, took place in Vienna at ministerial level and was chaired by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini.
All remaining parties to the deal reiterated their commitment to the full and continued implementation of the nuclear deal. They supported recent efforts to maintain the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran and also noted EU’s efforts to update the Blocking Statute to protect EU companies.–Press release