EU 'Deeply Regrets' Renewed U.S. Sanctions on Iran

EU nations vowed to keep trade channels open in order to protect EU companies trading legally with Iran. New round of U.S. sanctions comes into effect Monday

Federica Mogherini, foreign policy chief of the European Union (EU), arrives for an informal dinner at Sofia Tech Park in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.
Federica Mogherini in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Credit: Bloomberg

The High Representative of the European Union, Federica Mogherini, and the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom have released a joint statement expressing their "deep regret" over the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Donald Trump withdrew in May from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was a deal in which Iran agree to halt its nuclear development in return for a lift on sanctions.

"The lifting of nuclear-related sanctions is an essential part of the deal – 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 joint statement read.

The first round of sanctions imposed on Iran by the U.S. is to come into effect on Monday. A second round, pertaining mostly to Iranian oil industry, is slated to come into effect in November.

The Trump administration has also been exerting diplomatic pressure on their allies to adopt the sanctions and have threatened to penalize those who don't.

This has extended to European-based companies, such as Airbus, who rely on U.S. manufacturing for their goods, and yet want to continue trading with Iran.

The remaining signatories have pledged to keep the deal alive, comitting to work on "the preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran, and the continuation of Iran's export of oil and gas." The EU join statement said they were workingon "maintaining economic relations with Iran."

The joint statement on Monday from the European Union stated that they deeply regretted the sanctions imposed on Iran by the U.S., and that the European Union would bring into action a Blocking Stature that would allow EU countries to continue working and trading legally with Iran.

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