Published: Sun, July 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Iran nuclear chief: New centrifuge rotor factory built

Iran nuclear chief: New centrifuge rotor factory built

Under the 2015 deal, which Trump sees as flawed, Iran reined in its disputed nuclear program under United Nations monitoring and won a removal of worldwide sanctions in return.

Despite push-back, Paris, London and Berlin are in a precarious situation and may be forced to dump the nuclear deal altogether when USA sanctions snap-back into place beginning in August.

The Wall Street Journal quoted "several European officials" on July 16 as having said that three European states are about to open new accounts or activate old accounts for the Iranian Central Bank in spite of U.S. sanctions in what it described as "the first concrete sign that Europe could deliver on its promise" to sustain the Iranian nuclear deal.

The EU's not-for-profit lender fears any dealings with Iran would jeopardise its ability to raise money on USA markets and have far-reaching consequences for its operations. But in may, the administration trump unilaterally announced the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran.

Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said the new factory did not in itself break the terms of the agreement.

He said all parties should engage constructively to address and resolve issues that have arisen with respect to the Iran nuclear deal.

In exchange, global economic sanctions on Iran were lifted and the country received a financial windfall estimated at over $100 billion as its foreign assets were unfrozen.

"From a commercial perspective, European multi-nationals such as the French Energy company Total, have little prospect of continuing business with Iran unless specific exemptions are provided by the U.S. Treasury", Ellie Geranmayeh, who advised EU governments and corporations during the nuclear negotiations with Iran, explained to The Media Line.

To ensure Tehran kept its end of the bargain the US vowed to implement the strictest-ever, "anytime, anywhere" inspections regime; however, President Trump argues that this has not materialized and, irrespective, suggests the Iranians can not be trusted.

The bank will only do business in Iran if it receives approval from its board of governors, which are the finance ministers of the EU's 28 member states, and on the basis of finding suitable projects to invest in, Reuters said, while adding that the EIB can not be obliged to invest by the European Commission, which devised the plan.

Iran has secured a deal with Russian Federation to allow it to sidestep United States sanctions aimed at restricting its ability to import foreign goods, the country's foreign minister has revealed.

After Trump's withdrawal, Iran said it would consult with its partners in Europe, Russia and China to see if staying in the deal would continue to benefit the Islamic Republic economically.

In Britain, the situation is similar.

"PSA made its decision with regard to the new USA sanctions, in order to be in conformity with American regulations", a company spokesman said on Wednesday.

The bloc's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday the 28 countries were doing all they could to save the deal but conceded US President Donald Trump's administration could still wreck it. In any event, the effect is the same for those countries that might reasonably strive to maintain some of their economic relations with Iran.

Zarif also said that the European Union can do more to bring about peace and stability in the Middle East. But it says there is nothing to be gained from pulling out of a deal that placed limits on its nuclear fuel production and with which Tehran is complying.

"There is no European bank which is presently able to do business in and with Iran", Hoyer told reporters.

The Wall Street Journal quoted the European officials as saying that "the option of European central banks activating Iranian central bank accounts-or reactivating some which have been dormant for years-is one of several that European governments are actively exploring".

The EIB now steers clear of engaging in jurisdictions listed as high-risk under the FATF, a global group of government anti-money-laundering agencies.

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