Published On: Tue, May 15th, 2018

Johnson to meet French and German counterparts over Iran nuclear deal | UK | News


The Foreign Secretary will hold talks in Brussels on Tuesday evening and will also meet the Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as Europe’s participants in the 2015 agreement attempt to keep it alive.

Mr Trump pulled American support for the international nuclear agreement and threatened to impose a wave of new sanctions on Tehran, which could hit a number of British and European firms who do business with the Middle Eastern state.

The US Treasury has said it is giving companies three to six months to wind down their contracts, including purchases of Iranian oil.

Express.co.uk understands Britain believes it is doing its utmost to keep the Iranians in the deal and will even try and tempt Mr Trump and the US to rejoin.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Johnson said: “We are going to have a conversation about what we can do to help UK firms and help European firms have confidence that they can still do business.

“I’m not going to pretend to you now that it will be easy but we are determined to do that and – as far as we possibly can – to protect our businesses from the effects of American primary and secondary sanctions.”

Amongst the UK firms who could suffer as a result of Mr Trump’s decision is Airbus, who have taken a significant order from Iran Air for their aircrafts.

The deal for 100 planes, worth around £15 million, was agreed in December 2016. Only three planes have been delivered with many industry insiders blaming delays on banks being unwilling to finance business with Tehran.

Mr Trump’s administration could have dealt a finally deadly blow to the deal with Washington saying it could revoke the export licence needed by platemakers to sell commercial aircraft to Iran.

Airbus may be a European-based manufacturer but their planes use US technology, which would see them become subject to Mr Trump’s sanctions.

When Mr Johnson meets with German Heiko Maas and France’s Jean-Yves le Drian, they want to show Europe stands “shoulder to shoulder” on the need to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Action of Action.

Mr le Drian said the agreement is the “only way to fight against the risk of proliferation”, with the pact seeing sanctions removed on Iran in return for giving up its military nuclear programme.

The French foreign minister said Tehran was “respecting” its side of the deal, meaning “we are going to stick to this agreement”.

He added: “We want to be sure that companies are protected from the American sanctions and Iran benefits from the dividends.”

The meeting will be hosted by the European Union’s foreign affairs boss Federica Mogherini.

She said: “Boris Johnson will be here in Brussels together with the foreign ministers of Germany and France to work together to preserve a deal we have achieved together – also with Russia and China – and we will save it together.

“So we will have the meeting with the three foreign ministers tomorrow and then we will also have a meeting with the foreign minister of Iran.”



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