Trump Makes Waves Pulling Out of Iran Deal
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President Trump has not only announced that the United States will leave a landmark deal to restrict Iran’s nuclear weapons development. Trump also reinstated sanctions on businesses involved with Iran, with the U.S. Treasury giving companies 3-6 months to wind down their contracts for Iranian oil and other goods.
As the contracts represent billions of euros, Trump’s recent move has riled Europe. We could see European counter-penalties against U.S. business assets in Europe, to compensate European businesses for financial losses under U.S. sanctions.
Iran is engaging in talks with European leaders, after announcing its readiness to resume uranium enrichment.
The Trump’s administration’s withdrawal from the international nuclear pact would have come as no surpise to Tehran, as it recalls Trump’s campaign promises to pull the United States out of the pact. The deal, its supporters have acknowledged, was imperfect. Parties signed on in hopes that the pact would at least put off an Iranian nuclear weapons program.
Trump has deemed the agreement unacceptable for failing to constrain ballistic weapon development or support for terrorist groups.
Looking for Workarounds
Former secretary of state John Kerry condemned the withdrawal for “dragging the world back to the brink” when the better position would entail building on the nonproliferation verification system that the pact put into place.
Former president Barack Obama has also denounced the withdrawal, which comes a year after President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris climate agreement, and just before nuclear negotiations with North Korea.
Meanwhile, Europe is planning workarounds. Finance minister Bruno Le Maire of France has proposed an EU statute to let European business ignore U.S. sanctions, and to uphold nullification of sanctions in Europe’s courts. Le Maire has also floated the idea of a European finance house for transactions with ran. Peter Altmaier, Germany’s finance minister, said Germany will support businesses impacted by sanctions, enabling them to continue with their contracts.
The latest EU and US sanctions are set to be discussed on a Knowledge Group webcast May 22nd. You can find all of the details and information on how to sign up by clicking here. This webcast will be eligible for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit and we look forward to seeing you there.