Iran disappointed with EU proposal on nuclear deal
Companies that have invested in the Iranian energy sector are already skeptical about continuing, the Iranian president said. According to Iran, a European package of support for the U.N-backed nuclear agreement was disappointing and offered nothing beyond general commitments.
As United Press International writes in the article Iran disappointed with EU proposal on nuclear deal, President Hassan Rouhani spent much of the week visiting European leaders to drum up support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a 2015 agreement reached between the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Germany and Iran. That agreement gave Iran relief from sweeping sanctions in exchange for peaceful nuclear commitments, though U.S. President Donald Trump this year said the deal was flawed and erased the U.S. signature.
That means some U.S. sanctions are reinforced next month. Sanctions reaching into the Iranian energy sector snap back in early November, though some European companies that have done business with Iran have already scaled back their operations.
"After the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA, economic issues and problems in banking relations and oil have been created and companies that have invested in Iran are skeptical about continuing their activities in Iran," Rouhani said after speaking late Thursday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Iran's exports remain robust at around 2 million barrels of oil per day, though some of its clients have already started looking for other options.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said after Trump pulled out of the JCPOA in May there was a unified position in Europe that respecting the U.N.-backed agreement with Iran was essential for peace.
The announcement followed comments from Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French minister of European and Foreign Affairs, who said European parties have looked to 1990s rules that would protect French and other European companies from U.S. pressure. A financial mechanism that's "immune" to the U.S. dollar would secure European financial interests in Iran and ensure its oil can still be exported, he said.
Rouhani said he arrived home from his European tour with little to show for it in terms of concrete support. "Unfortunately the proposed package lacked operational solution and specific method for cooperation, and featured just a set of general commitments like the previous statements by the European Union," he said in statements published through his official website.
Iran has supplied oil to the Asian markets as well. China in particular could be less constricted by U.S. sanctions pressures than its European counterparts.
Juncker in May said that by Aug. 6, when the first set of U.S. sanctions go into force, European companies could be protected by blocking statutes that allows them to recover damages and nullifies the effect of any judgment imposed by a foreign court.
According to Rouhani, Merkel made it clear that European leaders want to stay in the deal.