With US out, those backing Iran nuclear deal meet in Vienna

Clay Curtis
July 6, 2018

In May, US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal under which sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs to its nuclear program.

Speaking after three hours of talks, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who chaired the talks, read a statement from the six delegations repeating previously-announced broad priorities ranging from guaranteeing Iranian oil revenue to shipping ties, banking and all other trade and investment co-operation.

Washington has since told countries they must stop buying Iranian oil from November 4 or face financial measures.

The other partners so far appear powerless to stop their countries' companies pulling out of Iran for fear of USA penalties.

Referring to the firm stands adopted by Iran's president against recent U.S. ill-wishing strategies and imposition of new oil sanctions against Iran, General Jaafari expressed hope that people from all walks of life along with the country's officials to adopt a unified stance to achieve their goal.

Ahead of Friday's meeting, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said it was unlikely for Europe to put together an economic package for Iran before November. Washington has since told countries they must stop buying the OPEC producer's oil from November 4 or face financial consequences.

He said that up to now, the package of incentives proposed to Iran were "disappointing", and that they "lacked an operational solution and a specific method for cooperation, and featured just a set of general commitments". "It's also not just about what the Europeans can do, but also how the Chinese, Russians, Indians, others can contribute", said a senior European diplomat.

China rejects ‘blackmail’ on eve of United States tariff hike
Although the first exchange of tariffs is unlikely to inflict much economic harm on either nation, the damage could soon escalate. Perversely if China's retaliation included tariffs on USA dairy, meat and wine then we could actually get a bit of a trade boost.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also said that world powers would not be able to fully compensate for companies who are abandoning their operations in Iran.

Iran is continuing to export oil despite United States attempts to prevent them from doing so, and there is no reason to think they're suddenly going to commit a series of acts of war in the Strait of Hormuz just to give the U.S. a pretext to attack them. "To save the deal, other signatories should compensate for USA sanctions", a senior Iranian official told Reuters on Friday.

Even before the United States moved to reimpose sanctions on Iran, Tehran complained that the surge in foreign investment and trade that was expected to come under the nuclear deal never materialized.

Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) warned Thursday that it could block the Hormuz Strait in the Gulf should the US prevents its oil exports, semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

Other objectives Mogherini outlined included maintaining wider economic relations with Iran, financial channels, Iran's export of oil and gas, and the continuation of sea, land, air and rail transportation links.

Now, the threat of US sanctions has increasingly darkened the outlook for Iran's economy, helping to stoke a plunge in the Iranian rial this year that has driven up prices and provoked street protests and strikes.

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