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Why is the EU Committed to Preserve Iran Nuclear Deal?

Sputnik International

Recently, the US President Donald Trump announced that the United States withdraws from nuclear deal with Iran, announcing that Iran continues to enrich uranium and the agreement "is so bad that even if Iran fulfills its commitments completely, it will not hinder it to build a nuclear weapon."

The European reaction immediately followed the US statement. The European allies of the United States, France, Germany and the United Kingdom expressed their regret on this decision. They stated that by this step, the United States endangered the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. The EU also expressed such a view. High representative Federica Mogherini noted that the EU will remain committed to the deal if Tehran continues to fulfill its obligations. There is no alternative to this agreement, the head of EU diplomacy said.

The European unity on the issue was manifested in Sofia, where, following the green light of EU leaders, the European Commission took steps to preserve the interests of European companies investing in Iran. Earlier United States announced new fierce sanctions on Iran that apparently contradict the economic interests of the EU in Iran. The European Union is committed to mitigating the impact of US sanctions on European businesses and taking steps to maintain the growth of trade and economic relations between the EU and Iran that began when sanctions were lifted.

The European Commission launched two formal processes: first, it activated the Blocking Statute that ''forbids EU companies from complying with the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions, allows companies to recover damages arising from such sanctions from the person causing them, and nullifies the effect in the EU of any foreign court judgements based on them''; and the second formal process is ''to remove obstacles for the European Investment Bank (EIB) to decide under the EU budget guarantee to finance activities outside the European Union, in Iran''.

The EU aims at having the measure entered into force before the first batch of US sanctions take effect. Besides, the EU seeks to support EU investments in Iran, particularly for small and medium-sized companies.

In short, the EU is to block the effects of new US sanctions on European firms doing business with Tehran.

So, will this lead to any kind of economic war between the EU and US?

According to experts, the US decisions on Iran have triggered the worst transatlantic crisis since 2003. For example, French energy giant ''Total'' announced it would halt a multibillion-dollar natural gas project in Iran unless it was granted an exemption from US sanctions. Although the EU is unified, it would be difficult to guarantee the efficient operation of European firms in Iran.

Germany is also committed to the idea that it wouldn't be feasible to offer wide-ranging compensation to European companies affected by new US sanctions over Iran's nuclear program.

Beijing and Moscow have joined Europe in stepping up efforts to save the agreement.


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