Differing Priorities Hinder European Sanctions Against Iran

Differing Priorities Hinder European Sanctions Against Iran

Tuesday, 17 April, 2018 - 08:15
Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson meets with his counterparts during European Union foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg on April 16, 2018. (Credit: Reuters)
London- Asharq Al Awsat
EU Foreign ministers on Monday suggested sanctions by Germany, France and UK against the ballistic missiles program and Tehran’s regional role didn't lead to a breakthrough. There has been a dispute among the EU countries on the priorities in dealing with the Iranian file, after less than one month from US President Donald Trump withdrawal from the deal.

The three EU countries (Germany, France, UK) suggested last month a sanctions draft against Tehran, targeting the ballistic missiles program and its role in the Middle East. Trump announced, mid of January, that his country would stay in the nuclear deal under the condition of solving four basic problems in the deal.

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, European Union, said Monday upon arrival to Luxembourg to participate in a meeting for EU Foreign ministers that she didn’t expect imposing sanctions on Tehran. Mogherini added that the EU is seeking to maintain parties' commitment to the deal since it represents a topic of “strategic interest for the EU”. At the same time, she warned from the impact of any decision on the position of International Atomic Energy Agency, amid anticipated negotiations with North Korea regarding its nuclear program.

The European division on imposing sanctions on Iran and its role in the region, continued. Italy, Spain and Austria are among the countries objecting to imposing new sanctions.

In this context, Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl said that the topic is not a significant issue on the agenda, knowing that Austria, Italy and Sweden remain undecided regarding imposing new sanctions. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, however, expressed frustration towards Tehran and worrisome towards its role in the region due to its ballistic missiles program.

French President Emanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Washington on April 24 and April 27 respectively, in a final attempt to persuade Trump to stay in the nuclear deal.

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