German entrepreneur slams US ‘diktat’ over Iran sanctions

Sputnik – EU states have criticized the US decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and expressed their commitment to the agreement. However, many fear that the companies that do business in Iran might be affected by US sanctions. Sputnik discussed the issue with Michael Tockuss, a representative of the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce Association.

US law does not apply in the EU, and German companies shouldn’t be dictated to about whom they are supposed to do business with, German entrepreneur Michael Tockuss said.

“I believe it’s important to say that we are talking about purely American legislation here. Therefore, one shouldn’t act as if the US laws are automatically applicable to European companies,” Tockuss said.

“Imagine it the other way round, that the German Bundestag would pass a law and expect it to apply in California or Wisconsin. Everyone would just laugh about it. Therefore, Americans shouldn’t be so easily allowed to force companies based in third countries to comply with their legislation,” he added.

According to the expert, it is possible to protect European companies in various ways. At the moment, a law that bans European companies from complying with US sanctions against Iran is being discussed at the EU level.

“European companies doing business with Iran could also be helped via fallback guarantees and reliable payment channels between Europe and Iran with the help of the ECB,” the expert said.

He also noted that Iran might consider switching its trade from the dollar to the euro. This has already been done in many spheres, except for the oil sector, Tockuss said.

“That’s a crucial point. China, for example, has already taken decisive steps. Oil has been traded in local currency on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Iran should also go in that direction, discuss it with its partners and stop selling its oil in dollars,” the analyst argued.

Commenting on the issue of whether the EU and Russia will be able stick to the nuclear deal without the US, Tockuss said that such a scenario is likely.

“We think the chances are very good. The statements of the Federal Government, the European leaders as well as Russia and China are unanimous; everyone wants to stay committed to the Iran agreement,” the analyst concluded.

On May 8, US President Donald Trump announced that his country would exit the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Along with the withdrawal from the agreement, the United States is restoring all sanctions against the Middle Eastern country, including secondary ones in relation to other countries that conduct business with Iran, which were suspended in the framework of the JCPOA.

Other signatories to the JCPOA have criticized Trump’s decision to unilaterally pull out of the deal and have confirmed their commitment to the agreement.

The views expressed in this article are those of the analyst and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.