European officials denounce US plan to reimpose nuclear sanctions on Iran

The Hill – Foreign and finance ministers from the European Union, United Kingdom, France and Germany on Friday condemned the Trump administration’s plans to reimpose the last set of sanctions lifted under the Iran nuclear deal early next week.

“We deeply regret the further re-imposition of sanctions by the United States, due to the latter’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA),” the officials wrote in a joint statement. “The JCPoA is a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture and of multilateral diplomacy, endorsed unanimously by the UN Security Council through Resolution 2231. It is crucial for the security of Europe, the region, and the entire world.”

“The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed in twelve consecutive reports that Iran is abiding by its commitments under the Agreement. We expect Iran to continue implementing all its nuclear commitments in full, as set out by the JCPoA. The JCPoA also provides for the lifting of international sanctions in order to have a positive impact on trade and economic relations with Iran, but most importantly on the lives of the Iranian people,” they added.

The statement was signed onto by High Representative Federica Mogherini, Foreign Ministers Jean-Yves Le Drian of France and Heiko Maas of Germany, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt of the United Kingdom, and Finance Ministers Bruno Le Maire of France, Olaf Scholz of Germany and Philip Hammond of the United Kingdom.

“Further work must be done to assist and reassure economic operators pursuing legitimate business under EU law. Our Finance Ministers will further pursue this at their next meeting. Our collective resolve to complete this work is unwavering,” they added.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced the reimposition of the sanctions Friday.

“This part of the campaign about which we’re speaking today is simple: It is aimed at depriving the regime of the revenues that it uses to spread death and destruction around the world,” Pompeo said in a call with reporters.

“We’re very confident that our sanctions will be incredibly effective. And frankly, I can prove that already. As I stated, the Iranian economy today is already feeling the effects of this,” he added.

Trump announced in May that he was withdrawing the United States from what he has called the “worst deal ever negotiated.”

The 2015 agreement, made under the Obama administration, gave Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for the country curbing its nuclear program.

The agreement was between the United States, Iran, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, China and Russia.

Trump gave companies and countries doing business with Iran two “wind-down” periods before the administration would reimpose sanctions.

The first 90-day period ended in August. At that point, the United States reinstated sanctions on transactions with U.S. dollar banknotes and trade in various materials.

The more significant sanctions aren’t being reimposed until the end of the second, 180-day period. The last day of that period is Sunday, with sanctions set to be renewed at midnight.