The EU is scrambling to find ways to protect huge business relationship with Iran, in the midst of the threat of US sanctions.
Washington is re-imposing strict sanctions on Iran, which have been exercised under the 2015 international process for the control of the countries nuclear ambitions. On May 8, the President, Donald Trump has denounced the case, saying he would remove the US from it.
Since the agreement entered into force in 2016, large European companies rushed to do billions of dollars of business with Iran, and now thousands of jobs are at stake.
Many of these companies fear that their business ties with the united states could be at risk to continue to do business with Iran past a November deadline. What can the EU do?
There is an existing EU “blocking law”, from 1996, aimed at countering the us sanctions linked to the communist party of Cuba. Now, EU officials say they are redesigning the act to avoid the latest US restrictions on companies doing business with Iran.
But there are doubts about the legal status of the authority. The Reuters news agency, said Hull and a few other European companies, with major operations in the united states prefer to push for US waivers on a case-by-case basis.
The american authorities have imposed heavy fines on the banks for the processing of Iranian transactions, including the united KINGDOM, Standard Chartered, HSBC and Lloyds.
France, Germany and the UK all say that they remain committed to the nuclear deal with Iran and the expansion of trade relations, provided that Iran sticks to its commitments.
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What is the size of the EU-Iran trade?
Prior to the imposition of sanctions on Iran in 2012, the EU has been its largest trading partner. In 2011, Iran had a large trade surplus with the EU. The trade fell in 2012, but has been back since the 2015 deal.
EU exports to Iran in 2017 (goods and services) amounted to € 10.8 billion (£9.5 billion; $12.9 billion), and imports from Iran to the block were worth €10.1 billion euros. The value of imports was nearly double the 2016 figure.
Most EU imports from Iran are energy-related – more than 75% of the oil, and other fuels.
EU exports to Iran are mainly machinery and transport equipment, followed by chemicals.
But the trade with Iran represents only 0.6% of all global trade. Iran’s main trading partners are the United Arab Emirates and China, which account for 23.6% and 22.3% of the total trade, according to the European Commission.
Trade of the EU, in contrast, account for 6% of Iran.
What are the big deals at risk?
Since the lifting of the sanctions have been the major EU-Iran business, among them:
Total (French), have signed a contract with a value of $5 billion to help Iran develop world’s largest gas field, South Pars
Norway is the Saga of Energy has signed a $ 3 billion agreement to build solar power plants
Airbus has awarded a contract for the sale of 100 jets to IranAir
European turboprop maker ATR (Airbus-Leonardo partnership) has agreed to sell 20 aircraft to Iran
Germany’s Siemens has signed contracts for the upgrade of Iran railways and to re-equip 50 locomotives
In italy, the state rail company FS signed a $1.4 billion agreement to build a high speed rail line between Qom and Arak
In France , Renault has signed a joint venture agreement, including an engineering center and production plant, boosting the capacity of production of the Renault ability of Iran to 350,000 vehicles per year