Austrians say aligned with Iran, against anti-JCPOA moves of US

MNA – The Austrian Chancellor Kurz and President Van der Bellen issued statements in the run-up to President Rouhani’s visit to Austria voicing strong support for nuclear deal.

“Austria and the EU will continue to work for the continued existence of the nuclear agreement as long as Iran also keeps its commitments,” said Austrian President Van der Bellen in the run-up to the visit of President Rouhani to Austria, reported Austrian paper Der Standard.

The deal, signed in 2015, “opened a window to address other important issues,” he added.

The Austrian Chancellor Kurz made similar remarks. He said that the agreement was “positive” and that Austria still wanted to keep it “together with our partners in the EU,” he said. “Above all, it is important that Iran continues to honor its obligations under the agreement.”

Rouhani will be received on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at the Inner Courtyard with military honors by President Van der Bellen. After a four-eye conversation, there will be a press conference at 11:40. At 13:45 the signing of several memoranda in the Federal Chancellery is planned.

In addition to the current situation in the Middle East, the bilateral relations will also be discussed, according to the same source from the office of Austrian chancellor. Many Austrian companies are active in Iran. Austria and the EU are “anxious to maintain the framework conditions in these difficult times.”

Bilateral economic relations have recently developed extremely dynamically, with Austrian exports up by 9.2 per cent to 301.7 million euros in the previous year, and imports by as much as 18.5 per cent to 120 million euros, of which 85 per cent is accounted for by the oil sector. After the US exit, the Austrian Economic Chambers has called on the Austrian companies engaged in Iran to “exercise patience”. Thus, the execution of transactions already entered into is legal anyway.

The Austrian Economic Chambers responded to the EU’s “EU Blocking Regulation” in June, which stated that any US sanctions against European companies were not enforceable and that they were entitled to claim any damages. This decision was indeed a “politically important signal” to show Iran that the EU was holding on to the nuclear deal.

Austria has traditionally close ties with Iran. For example, the then Federal President Heinz Fischer visited Tehran in September 2015 as the first EU Head of State, after the political and economic opening course had been initiated with the Vienna Atomic Deal.

With the announcement of US President Donald Trump in May, Washington’s exit threatens to collapse like a house of cards. The US threatens its own sanctions with all companies involved in Iran.