Germany upholds export, investment guarantees
Zarif says Trump, regional allies isolated
The European Union and heavyweight members Germany, France, and Britain on Monday said they “deeply regret” the restoration of sanctions by the United States on Iran, adding the EU and other signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal will work on keeping “effective financial channels with Iran” open.
“The remaining parties to the JCPOA have committed to work on, inter alia, the preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran, and the continuation of Iran’s export of oil and gas,” said EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini in a statement jointly signed with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany.
“We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran... This is why the European Union’s updated Blocking Statute enters into force on 7 August to protect EU companies doing legitimate business with Iran from the impact of US extra-territorial sanctions.”
The statute will forbid European businesses from complying with the US sanctions, nullifying any foreign court rulings against them and allowing them to recover damages from the penalties.
The joint statement also stressed that "preserving the nuclear deal with Iran is a matter of respecting international agreements and a matter of international security."
Germany to support business with Iran
The Germany Economy Ministry said on Monday it will continue to offer export and investment guarantees for companies doing business with Iran.
“Export guarantees and investment guarantees from the Federal Ministry of Economics are still available to companies,” the economy ministry said.
The ministry added that Berlin remains in dialogue with the US on exemptions for German companies from Iran sanctions.
A first round of US sanctions against Iran, lifted under the JCPOA, are due to be reinstated on Tuesday following US President Donald Trump's decision to abandon the nuclear deal in May – a move opposed by all other parties to the agreement. The sanctions will cover Iran’s purchases of dollars, its trade in gold and precious metals and its automotive sector.
Under the deal between Tehran and world powers, most international sanctions imposed on Iran were lifted in 2016 in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear program.
Saying the deal had failed to address Iran’s ballistic missile program, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 and its role in the Middle East, Trump withdrew from it in May.
Despite efforts by Russia, China and Europe to salvage the deal, the Trump administration is pushing countries to cut all imports of Iranian oil from November 5, when the United States reimposes the second round of sanctions targeting Iran’s oil and shipping industries.
Several countries including China, India and Turkey have indicated they are not willing to entirely cut their Iranian energy purchases.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday Trump and his allies in the Middle East have become isolated by their hostile policies toward Tehran.
"Today, Trump, (Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad) Bin Salman and (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu have become the symbol of mistrust in the world," Zarif said.
"Their oppressive policies and violent measures have made them isolated... The world has distanced itself from their hostile policies against Iran."
Trump’s withdrawal from the deal was welcomed by Israel and Saudi Arabia who both supported the imminent resumption of US sanctions on Iran.
"They want to create psychological tension against Iran ... We will overcome this period of hardship," Zarif said.
"Of course, American bullying and political pressures may cause some disruption, but the fact is that in the current world, America is isolated," he said.
After months of fierce rhetoric, Trump surprised observers last week when he offered to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani without preconditions.
But Zarif suggested it was hard to imagine negotiating with the man who tore up an agreement on which Iran and world powers had spent the "longest hours in negotiating history".
"Do you think this person (Trump) is a good and suitable person to negotiate with? Or is he just showing off?" he said.
There have been ongoing rumors that Trump and Rouhani could meet in New York later this month, where they are both attending the UN General Assembly – though Rouhani reportedly rejected US overtures for a meeting at last year's event.
Over the weekend Trump once again floated the idea of meeting, tweeting "I will meet, or not meet, it doesn't matter – it is up to them!"
Reuters, AFP, and Sputnik contributed to this story.