EU seeks to continue cooperation with Iran despite US sanctions – Mogherini

Sputnik – The European Union intends to continue and even step up its trade and economic cooperation with Iran, despite the US decision to reimpose sanctions on Tehran, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Friday.

“We are determined to continue and even increase [our] economic and trade engagement, legitimate economic and trade engagement with Iran even if the United States has decided to impose sanctions in violation of the commitments taken under the nuclear deal,” Mogherini said, delivering a speech at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore.

The official reiterated that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s verifications indicated that Tehran complied with its commitments under the deal, which laid in the security interests of the European Union.

Mogherini, however, noted that cooperation with Iran would be difficult under Washington’s sanctions, due to “the weight of the US financial role.”

In early May, US President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, and restore wide-ranging sanctions on Iran, including secondary sanctions against financial institutions of third countries that do business with Tehran.

Following the move, several US and EU companies said that they would or may stop doing business with Iran.

In June, the European Commission said it had adopted a relevant update to the Blocking Statute and the European Investment Bank’s External Lending Mandate to protect the interests of EU companies investing in Iran. The Blocking Statute bans European companies from fulfilling sanctions and allows them to ignore extraterritorial judicial verdicts.