France on Friday said the United States’ decision to reimpose sanctions on companies trading with Iran was unacceptable. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said European companies should not have to pay for the US’ decision to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
“We feel that the extraterritoriality of their sanction measures are unacceptable,” said Le Drian, according to BBC. “The Europeans should not have to pay for the withdrawal from an agreement by the United States, to which they had themselves contributed.”
On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump announced his decision to exit the deal. The US said companies have six months to suspend their businesses with Iran.
Le Drian said the commitment of other partners to the Iran deal should be respected. The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the US – as well as the European Union and Germany, had signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran in 2015. The deal had lifted sanctions on Tehran in return for the promise that Iran would curb its nuclear programme.
A number of French companies, including Airbus, Renault and Peugeot, have signed agreements with Iran since the nuclear deal.
On Friday, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said Europe must defend its “economic sovereignty” and added that it would propose sanctions-blocking measures to the European Commission. “Do we want to be vassals deferring with a curtsy and a bow to decisions made by the US so that the US polices the world economy?” he asked, according to AP.
Apart from France, Britain and Germany have also said that they would work with Iran to try to save the nuclear deal. Top diplomats of Iran, France, Britain and Germany are expected to meet next week.