European Union official insists nuclear deal with Iran must prevail

A man looks out from an Israeli position in the Golan Heights

A man looks out from an Israeli position in the Golan Heights

Later, in an interview with the official news agency IRNA on his way back to Tehran, Zarif said that the European parties to the JCPOA work hard to preserve the deal and limit the impact of United States withdrawal on Europe's trade with Iran.

Zarif was returning from a diplomatic tour of the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear agreement - Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation - following the United States decision last week to pull out.

While she noted that the European Union can not provide legal and economic guarantees to Iran after the USA withdrew from the accord, she noted that the European Union and the Iranian side would continue to work "seriously and decisively" to keep investment flowing.

"With the nuclear deal in place we have better chances to address any other issue.with Iran", Mogherini said.

"â€We expect it has worth even when America has determined to stroll away, so we’ll be taking a look at a package deal of measures that we might be able to devise as Europeans, to encourage the Iranians to remain within the deal".

The landmark 2015 agreement was meant to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

At the same time, dozens of contracts signed between European businesses and the Islamic Republic could be at risk of cancellation if Brussels obeys Washington's sanctions.

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Altmaier said there was a deadline of up to 90 days for foreign firms to comply with USA sanctions or face penalties. From Iran's side, it eased crippling economic sanctions, while other signatories hailed it as a diplomatic breakthrough that would make the world less risky.

Merkel said the Europeans aren't "blind" to threats posed by Iran's activities in Syria to Israel, for example.

Yet analysts said the impact of Trump's announcement to pull out of the deal was muted. As a result, Shanghai crude oil futures ISCc1 have seen a steady rise in trading reaching a record 250,000 lots on May 9, a day after Trump's pullout from the JCPOA.

Now its stake in the project will probably be taken over by its Chinese partner, CNPC - Beijing, unlike Paris, is willing to challenge president Trump.

It's also possible that the US economy won't be affected by higher oil prices, said Antoine Halff, a senior research scholar at Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy and a former chief oil analyst at the International Energy Agency. If a country significantly reduces its oil imports from Iran, the United States could waive the sanctions to permit that country's banks to maintain a relationship with the central bank of Iran. Domestic oil production has increased significantly in recent years, so more of the additional money that consumers pay at the pump will stay within the country.

She told EUobserver that "from an economic point of view, there is no solution" to protect European Union companies against U.S. measures.

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