Protests in Iran over U.S. nuclear deal exit

Hannah Rogers
May 13, 2018

The Italian diplomat will meet with the foreign ministers of Germany, France and the United Kingdom - the three European powers that brokered the nuclear deal along with the EU, U.S., China and Russian Federation - in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss the future of the agreement.

"We have to work among ourselves in Europe to defend our economic sovereignty", Le Maire told Europe 1 radio.

Another positive sign for the Russian economy is the rise in oil prices, which rose to their highest level since 2014 after the USA withdrawal from the Iran deal.

"Do we want to be vassals who obey decisions taken by the United States while clinging to the hem of their pants?", Mr Le Maire asked.

European and American companies could lose billions of dollars in commercial deals struck since the 2015 Iranian nuclear accord, and lose access to a major new export market.

The leaders of Britain, France and Germany tried but failed to persuade Trump to stick with the deal.

European oil companies are not ruling out reducing Iranian oil imports after the threat of new USA sanctions, with some expecting banking issues to hinder trade, but there was no rush to immediately cut volumes.

In China, which is Iran's single biggest buyer of oil, Shanghai crude futures posted their biggest intra-day rally since their launch in March, rising more than 4% to a dollar-denominated record of around $73.40 per barrel.

Merkel said Friday the unilateral US withdrawal undermines confidence in the global order, but that it wasn't enough to abandon decades of cross-Atlantic cooperation.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has signaled it is ready...

"Other members of the Iran deal are going to have to make their own decision".

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"The Prime Minister raised the potential impact of USA sanctions on those firms which are now conducting business in Iran".

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will host the talks between the so-called E3 powers and Iranian minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, her office said in a statement.

"This deal is not a bilateral treaty".

The price of oil rose sharply on Wednesday to its highest since 2014 on expectations that the new sanctions will crimp Iranian exports.

President Donald Trump's decision will likely most hurt aircraft makers, oil companies and auto manufacturers.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned this week that Europe could no longer rely on the United States to "protect" it, while French President Emmanuel Macron said that "we cannot let others decide for us".

However, Le Maire acknowledged he has "no illusions" that he'll get what he asked for.

It's not often that an OPEC producer accuses the USA of driving up oil prices.

"It's quite possible that surging U.S. shale production could easily fill the gap left by Iran", Eberhart said. Another could be an independent financing mechanism allowing European companies to avoid USA banks.

Meanwhile, the United States government tried to further pinch Iran's finances by disrupting a currency exchange network allegedly used to transfer millions of dollars to Iran's Revolutionary Guard.

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