Europe should resist U.S. pressure to save reputation: Kharrazi

August 28, 2018 - 21:8

TEHRAN – To guard its credibility in respect to the 2015 nuclear deal, Europe must resist the Trump administration, chairman of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations Kamal Kharrazi suggested on Tuesday.

Kharrazi made the remarks during a meeting with a delegation from Germany’s Berghof Foundation.

Kharrazi, who was foreign minister from 1997 to 2005 under the Khatami administration, said that Iran has always made efforts to stabilize the Middle East.

The European Union trio – Germany, France and Britain which are signatory to the nuclear deal - are expected to present their package of proposals to Iran before the second round of U.S. sanctions, which target Iran’s central bank and oil exports, takes effect in early November. 

On May 8, Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the nuclear agreement and ordered sanctions against Iran. The first batch of sanctions took effect on August 6.

Germany and France said on August 28 that they’re working on financing solutions to sidestep U.S. sanctions against countries such as Iran, including a possible role for central banks.

“With Germany, we are determined to work on an independent European or Franco-German financing tool which would allow us to avoid being the collateral victims of U.S. extra-territorial sanctions,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said during a meeting with press association AJEF. “I want Europe to be a sovereign continent not a vassal, and that means having totally independent financing instruments that do not today exist.”

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also weighed in, saying the EU is working to protect economic ties with Iran and keep payment channels open. Maas reiterated a proposal to make international payments systems like SWIFT more independent of the U.S.

Le Maire said using the European Investment Bank, which has exposure to the U.S., as a “financial channel” would be “very complicated” and that the French and German governments are talking to their respective central banks about their involvement. “If we want to build a truly independent instrument we must open up all the options,” he said.


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