EU countries agree Iran deal 'not perfect': German Chancellor Angela Merkel

17 May, 2018, 14:20 | Author: Regina Silva
  • EPA-EFE  VASSIL DONEV  POOL

Leaders of European states will maintain the nuclear deal with Iran and protect their corporations against potential U.S. sanctions for doing business in the Islamic Republic, according to French President Emmanuel Macron.

Washington has given European firms doing business in Iran up to six months to wind up investments or risk United States sanctions and they are also forbidden from signing any new contracts with Iran. The 2015 nuclear agreement is an important element of regional peace and security so we chose to support it regardless of the United States' decision. "We promised to take political measures that would allow our enterprises to stay in Iran", he said.

"The 2015 agreement needs to be completed by a nuclear agreement beyond 2025, an agreement on ballistic activities and (Iran's) regional presence", Macron said.

In broader trade disputes with Washington, he also called for a complete exemption for the European Union from new USA steel tariffs and said Europe must preserve its "trade sovereignty".

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"International companies with interests in many countries make their own choices according to their own interests". "But what is important is that companies and especially medium-sized companies which are perhaps less exposed to other markets, American or others, can make this choice freely".

Earlier, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said that: "At this point, we have to replace the United States, which as an global actor has lost vigor, and because of it, in the long term, influence".

Total was the first major Western energy company to invest in Iran after sanctions with Iran were lifted but it has been joined by German insurer Allianz and Danish tanker operator Maersk in winding down their business in Iran.

Last week, the US withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, signed between Tehran and the P5+1 powers (China, France, Russia, UK, US, plus Germany) three years ago.

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