Despite US State Department claims that they are trying to comply with the P5+1 nuclear deal, European Union officials and business leaders are expressing growing annoyance at the way the Obama Administration’s regulations are keeping them from opening up trade with Iran.
“Europe is being taken hostage by American policy,” noted EU parliament official Martieje Schaake, while others noted that the whole putative point of the nuclear deal was to bring Iran out of international isolation, but US threats are preventing that from happening.
Several major companies across the world are in line for major contracts with Iran to modernize their economy after protracted sanctions, but getting those deals done is moving at a snail’s pace, with the US blocking international banks from facilitating money transfers to pay for them, and the US threatening travel bans on European businessmen who go to Iran.
Iranian officials have been complaining for weeks that the US policy means they are complying with the nuclear deal “on paper only,” and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met with John Kerry earlier this week, pressing him to do something to get the US policy in line with their obligations under the deal.
State Department officials seem largely on board with that, in theory, but Treasury Department officials continue to brag to Congress about their efforts to keep Iran out of international commerce, including barring Iran from any US dollar denominated transactions anywhere on the planet.