With the US promising “enormous sanctions” to be imposed as soon as next week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is warning European partners they have a “limited opportunity” to save the P5+1 nuclear deal.
Rouhani said the nations must act “very quickly” to try to preserve the deal, clarifying their respective positions. In particular, he wants them to specify what they intend to do about sanctions relief they are obliged to provide under the deal in the face of US sanctions.
European Union allies are all expressing support for continuing the deal without the United States. France in particular has promised to do its utmost to safeguard its growing business interests in Iran. Germany has also tried to reassure its business community.
The US Ambassador has already warned German companies to stop doing business in Iran. The European Union, however, may well block any US efforts to enforce this ban across European businesses, and has done so in the past with US sanctions against Cuba.
Both France and Germany have significant business interests in Iran, who after a generation of isolation needs a lot of infrastructure work. Given the amount of money at stake, these companies are concerned with US threats to stop them, and pushing their own governments to prevent the US from doing so.