EU Protests US Decision to End Iran Oil Waivers, Stresses Commitment to Nuclear Deal

CNS News | 4/24/2019 | Staff
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Berlin (CNSNews.com) – The European Union is criticizing the U.S. decision to end waivers that had allowed a small group of countries to continue importing Iranian oil despite the restoration of U.S. sanctions.

Germany, France and Britain are meanwhile continuing to work on ways to bypass U.S. sanctions on Iran in general, by encouraging European companies to continue trading with Iran without risking U.S. punitive measures.

Commission - Spokeswoman - Maja - Kocijancic - Brussels

European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said in Brussels on Tuesday that extending U.S. sanctions to countries buying Iranian oil “risks further undermining” the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) eased international sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program. President Trump last year withdrew from the deal, and restored unilateral U.S. sanctions.

US - Oil - Exports - Effect - November

When the U.S. measures targeting Iranian oil exports came into effect last November, eight countries (Turkey, China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan) were granted six-month waivers, giving them time to wean themselves off Iranian oil. The waivers expire next month, and the administration announced this week that they will not be extended.

“This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” the White House said. The aim is to force the regime to change behavior in the region which the U.S. views as “malign.”

Germany - France - Britain - EU - Participants

Germany, France and Britain are the E.U. participants in the JCPOA, along with Russia and China, as well as Iran itself.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France was “determined” to continue implementing the JCPOA with its European partners, to ensure trade with Iran could continue.

Britain - Germany - Mechanism - Instex - Instrument

Britain and Germany set up a mechanism called Instex (“Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges”) to allow trade between Iranian and foreign companies while avoiding the U.S. banking system and currency. The aim is to give companies confidence that they...
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