Heiko Maas: Germany can't protect businesses from USA sanctions in Iran

Cheryl Sanders
May 16, 2018

And Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkey's President Recep Erdogan about how to save the 2015 agreement with Iran, according to Russia's official press agency TASS.

Germany continued its sharp criticism of U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday, saying his planned sanctions against Tehran would also make it hard for Europeans to maintain economic incentives as part of the Iran nuclear deal.

Zarif will then travel to Brussels for talks with the European countries that are party to the JCPOA on the possibility of preserving the accord with Iran's interests at its heart. "Do they want to do business with a threat?" he asked. "They will never abandon the U.S. for us", said Poormoslem, a housewife at the rally. Companies caught violating the sanctions could be cut off from the USA financial system and targeted with a range of penalties.

"We are determined to keep this deal in place", Mogherini said, adding that only Iran has the power to unilaterally wreck the deal.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said he would try and save the 2015 Iran Nuclear deal through negotiations with the European nations who were co-signatories to the deal.

Economy Minister Peter Altmaier made clear Germany views President Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal as wrong. However, it never went into effect: Shortly after taking office, Trump signed an executive order that took the U.S. out of the deal, thus keeping it from entering into force.

"Iran is making every effort to save the deal through diplomatic means", says Yang Danzhi, the assistant director the Chinese Social Sciences Academy's Regional Security Center.

On Thursday France's top diplomat Jean-Yves Le Drian slammed those conditions, saying Washington needed to negotiate with its European allies on any sanctions that might affect their companies.

European leaders are walking a fine line in trying to save the accord with Iran and to safeguard the investments of their companies.

Meanwhile, Russia moved on May 10 to accelerate planned economic ties with Iran.

The European Union exported almost €11 billion ($13 billion) in goods to Iran in 2017, a 66% increase from 2015.

Washington has long complained that the nuclear deal does nothing to stop Iran's ballistic missile programme or its interference in conflicts across the Middle East from Syria to Yemen. The government said the USA pullout damages US credibility on the world stage and the credibility of accords the US has signed, and puts "the present system of worldwide law in serious danger".

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