Iran says Germans eager to maintain trade

Press TV – Iran says German enterprises are exploring all avenues to maintain business with Iran once the United States re-instates sanctions against the Islamic Republic.    

Abbas Ali Qasaeizadeh, the head of the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was quoted by media as saying that Germany increased the level of its trade with Iran after the removal of sanctions in 2016.

Qasaeizadeh emphasized that a large number of German delegations that visited the Islamic Republic after 2016 in search for new business opportunities manifested the determination of Berlin in keeping its commercial ties with Tehran.

The said annual trade between the two countries stood at up to €2.5 billion prior to the removal of sanctions that followed the signing of the Iran nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“When the JCPOA came into effect, the figure tripled to between €5 billion and €6 billion per year,” Qasaeizadeh told the English-language newspaper Iran Daily.

He further added that Germany was currently Iran’s number one European trade partner and the third globally after China and the UAE.

“Iran mainly exports oil and gas condensates to Germany. On the other hand, capital goods, such as industrial machinery, mostly comprises Germany’s overseas sales to Iran.”

Qasaeizadeh said in the past few years, Germany’s exports of equipment and machinery to generate renewable energies to Iran have witnessed a growth, adding a large number of German firms are currently involved in activities in southern and southeastern Iran.

Over the past week, the European Union assembled its forces to find ways to maintain business with Iran in face of upcoming US sanctions. On Friday, the European Commission announced that it had launched “the blocking statute” process to protect Europeans from US sanctions on Iran as part of efforts to preserve the nuclear deal with Tehran. The Commission also unveiled a plan that would envisage direct oil payments to Iran after the US re-imposes sanctions against the country.

The “blocking statute” is a 1996 regulation originally created to get around Washington’s trade embargo on Cuba.

EU officials said they were revamping the blocking statute to encompass a decision by US President Donald Trump to revive Iran-related sanctions.

The statute prohibits EU companies and courts from complying with specific foreign sanctions laws and says no foreign court judgments based on these laws have any effect in the EU.

The European Commission said on Friday the measure would come into force within two months, unless the European Parliament and EU governments formally rejected it.