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USA faces European backlash against Iran sanctions

17 May 2018

Dan Eberhart, CEO of oilfield services company Canary LLC, drew a direct connection: "Withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal will support higher oil prices".

Iran said it may resume uranium enrichment in a higher rate in weeks if it finds nuclear deal will not work anymore after the US pullout from the deal.

The Washington Post also relied on data from the institute in looking into the President's claim and likewise reported an increase in Iranian military expenditures of "nearly 30 percent" from 2015 to past year.

In her latest comments on Iran and sanctions, Chancellor Merkel said: "It is in our interest to have a strong transatlantic relationship". Cascading sanctions are in the making and continuing economic relations with Iran would be tantamount to shooting yourself in the foot.

Exports of German goods to Iran rose by around 400 million euros to 3 billion euros. "It depends on the conduct of other governments". Richard Johnson, the assistant coordinator for Iran nuclear issues at the Office of Nuclear Implementation, resigned this week.

And France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said EU states would propose sanctions-blocking measures to the European Commission.

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Decoding the recent positions of Western officials can play an effective role in understanding the European troika's demands on the "new JCPOA".

Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted by Fars news agency as saying he was not optimistic on the prospects of the talks with the Europeans.

This echoes statements from China, which has also said it wanted to continue normal business ties with Iran and is now financing multi billion dollar infrastructure and electricity projects in the country.

After the President Donald Trump announced his withdrawal from the Iran deal, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said his decision was "disappointing".

"My forecast is that should Europe cave in under pressure and boycott Iranian oil, Iran will see a reduction of 700,000 barrels a day in its exports", he added. On Wednesday, a separate OPEC source had said Saudi Arabia was monitoring the impact of the United States move on oil supplies and was ready to offset any shortage but would not act alone.

"I heard one of the primary industry representatives postulating that it might mean, if nothing else, that it's more hard to increase exports to iran who, of course, used to be a much larger trading partner of New Zealand than they are even now", Mr Parker said.

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif touched down in Moscow on Monday morning as part of a series of global diplomatic meetings aimed at saving the Iran nuclear deal following the United States' withdrawal.

There is little doubt the pressure on supplies from Iran will have a supportive impact on prices, but USA producers are expected to increase output and Opec has the spare capacity to fill in any gaps in the mid-term, so this factor is likely to have a limited effect.

"The two leaders looked forward to the summit which will take place between President Trump and Kim Jong Un in Singapore", the spokesman said.

When he quit the deal last week, US President Donald Trump gave businesses a maximum of six months to wind up operations in Iran or face swingeing penalties under American sanctions. "I think that will sink in, we'll see what happens then", Bolton said.

Germany's minister for economic affairs Peter Altmaier said last week that Berlin will try to "persuade the USA government to change its behaviour".

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Washington still wants to work with Europe to counter Iran's "malign behavior".

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When asked if this would mean sanctions against firms, the adviser didn't deny the possibility.

USA faces European backlash against Iran sanctions