Europe's Ministers Call On US To Exempt EU Firms Trading With Iran

- Jun 07, 2018-

PARIS - Foreign affair and economy ministers from France, Germany and Britain urged US officials to exempt European companies doing trade with Tehran after Washington menaced to impose tough sanction on the Islamic Republic and all countries doing businesses with it.

In a June 4 letter released on Wednesday, the ministers wrote "as allies, we expect that the United States will refrain from taking actions that would harm Europe's security interests."

"As close allies, we expect that the extraterritorial effects of US secondary sanctions will not be enforced on EU entities and individuals, and the United States will thus respect our political decisions," they added.

The ministers said expecting exemptions for EU firms dealing with pharmaceuticals, healthcare, energy, automotive, civil aviation, infrastructure and banking.

Advocate of 2015 nuclear deal, France, Germany and Britain told the US Treasury Secretary and US Secretary of State in a letter that they shared most of their concerns about the status of Iran's nuclear program after 2025, its development of ballistic missiles and "destabilizing actions" in the Middle East.

However, they said preserving the 2015 nuclear deal was "the best basis on which to engage Iran and address those concerns."

"Even though, the United States had decided to withdraw from (the deal), we are still convinced that (it) is still the best means through which we can prevent a nuclear armed Iran," they wrote.

Last month, US President Donald Trump announced US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, under which Iranians limited the country's nuclear activities in exchange for lifted sanctions.

In the wake of Washington's decision, European firms doing business in Iran have up to six months to wind up investments and are also forbidden from signing any new contracts with the country. Otherwise, they risk huge fines.

French leading automaker PSA announced on Tuesday, it would suspend its activities in Iran on risks of US sanctions in order to comply with US law by Aug 6, 2018.

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