Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

United States move on Iran threatens €143m Irish export trade

United States move on Iran threatens €143m Irish export trade

"We all agreed that we have a relative in intensive care and we all want to get him or her out of intensive care as quickly as possible", European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters after the 90-minute meeting.

"We have started working to reach the guarantees", Zarif said referring to Iran's demand that the remaining parties to Iran's nuclear deal or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) should ensure Tehran's interests will be protected.

The Europeans and Iranians have now tasked experts to come up with measures quickly and will meet again in Vienna next week at a deputy foreign minister level.

President Donald Trump's decision to pull out the USA from the nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions has also added fresh momentum to efforts to start trading oil in yuan following China's launch of crude oil futures.

The Government's position, in common with its European Union partners, remains that the 2015 deal remains in operation and that former EU and United Nations sanctions on Iran, which had been suspended under the agreement, are not being reinstated.

The US withdrawal from the Iran deal has upset Washington's European allies, cast uncertainty over global oil supplies and raised the risk of conflict in the Middle East.

Bolton, one of the key architects of the George W. Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq in 2003, despite lacking evidence that Iraq's Saddam Hussein had a programme to develop weapons of mass destruction, stuck to his famously more hawkish tone with comments that hinted that trump's White House would consider any European company that continues to honour legally binding business contracts with Iran as hostile acts.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that "it won't be easy, that's clear to all of us".

White House National Security adviser John Bolton said U.S. sanctions on European companies that maintain business dealings with Iran were "possible".

And on Monday Putin met Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, telling him that Russian Federation was "ready to continue to uphold the Iran nuclear deal despite the withdrawal of the United States".

The U.S. pulled out of the pact last week and promised to impose tough economic sanctions on Iran.

New Zealand businesses would suffer if the government gave in to threats from the United States over sanctions on dealings with Iran, Iran's ambassador to New Zealand says.

Major European powers sought Tuesday to keep Iran committed to a deal to prevent it from building a nuclear bomb despite deep misgivings about Tehran's Middle East politics and President Donald Trump's vehement opposition.

The EU is also looking at how it could develop special financing vehicles for doing business with Iran.

German exports to Iran totalled almost €3bn (£2.6bn) in 2017, while French exports soared from €562m in 2015 to €1.5bn in 2017.

"We have to accept, be realistic about the electrified rail, the live wire of American extraterritoriality and how that can serve as a deterrent to businesses", Johnson said.

French President Emmanuel Macron held phone talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, according to a Kremlin statement, which said they had "confirmed Russia and France's commitment to make the deal work".

In the CNN interview, Bolton did not respond directly when asked whether Trump might seek "regime change" in Iran, or whether the U.S. military would be ordered to make a pre-emptive strike against any Iranian nuclear facility.

However, on Tuesday the United States hit Iran's central bank governor with sanctions.

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