The Iran Project

Iran nuclear deal survives after US’ exit — Russian diplomat

U.S. President Donald Trump displays a presidential memorandum after announcing his intent to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

TASS – The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iran nuclear program continues to exist after the US ceased to be a part of it, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov told journalists on Wednesday, commenting on the measures taken by the EU to protect European businesses from US sanctions.

“At the present moment, we can state that after the US’ exit, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action did not perish. The remaining five countries (Russia, China, France, UK, and Germany – TASS) continue to work on maintaining trade and economic cooperation with Iran in conditions of American sanctions,” he noted.

“As for Russia, we have never made it our goal to be friends with some in order to make enemies with others. Objectively, on this issue, the interests of Russia and the EU practically coincide. We have been co-authors of a fragile deal on the Iran nuclear program, which is why it is in our interest to maintain it,” the Russian permanent representative added.

On August 7, the EU introduced the updated Blocking Statute, which declares all extraterritorial US sanctions against Iran invalid on all its territory, forbids European companies from cooperating with the US on introducing them, and puts a block on all decisions of foreign courts made on the basis of these sanctions.

It also allows all European organizations to compensate for the damage from the sanctions in court. At the same time, the European Commission noted that it would not introduce restrictive measures against European companies that choose to close their businesses or make cuts in Iran, as the European Commission has no right to influence business strategies of private companies.

The Russian permanent representative estimates that these measures will not be enough to keep major European enterprises in Iran, as the majority of large businesses have significant assets in the US and do not want to risk them for maintaining their positions in Iran.

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