As the US pulled out from the Iranian deal, Europe moves forward in safeguarding the commercial and political interests
According to Reuters, Europe’s biggest economies took steps on Friday in order to protect their political and commercial interests in Iran. Their objective is to keep the nuclear deal with Iran live after the threat of the US imposing sanctions following their dismissal of the agreement. In addition, the US threatens with penalties to any foreign firms involved in business with the country.
Foreign ministers of Great Britain, France and Germany are going to meet tomorrow in order to discuss the significant trade links they have with Iran. As France’s Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire stated, there is an understanding among all the EU states that keeping the direction of submitting to American decisions cannot be continued. From Germany came the voice of Economy Minister, Peter Altmaier, stating that Germany is ready to support the affected firms, including legal advice so as to enable normal continuation of business in Iran. Approximately 120 German firms operate in Irand and around ten thousand German companies trade with Iran. According to Altmaier, Germany wants to avoid the spiral of escalation in trade relations with the US and aims in avoiding negative fallout for the companies active in Tehran.
What the EU fears is that a possible collapse of the nuclear deal could cause a risk of deepening conflicts in the Middle East, and Germany, Britain and France want the talks to include also the topics on Iran’s ballistic missile program and regional military services, including Yemen and Syria. It is important to mention that French exports to Iran doubled last year to 1.5 billion and export of German goods rose by approximately 400 million euros, reaching now the total of 3 billion euros.
In addition, on Friday, the ECB President Mario Draghi has called for a new Eurozone fiscal instrument in order to ensure that the member countries are not disrupted by an economic shock and it is necessary to preserve convergence during large shocks so as not to overburden the monetary policy. According to Reuters, the aim is to provide an extra layer of stabilization in order to strengthen the confidence in national policies.
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