EU defies US sanctions against Iran

The EU wants to create a "special purpose vehicle" for processing payments between European companies and Tehran in a bid to enable Europe's industry to continue trading with the country without violating US sanctions. Some commentators praise the initiative for attempting to preserve the nuclear deal. Others doubt that it will keep the regime in Tehran in line.

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taz, die tageszeitung (DE) /

Tehran must not be isolated

Although it's not without its problems the EU's course is nonetheless right, the taz comments:

“With this move the EU is snubbing the US government. As the transatlantic trade row is still smouldering, it seems unwise for the EU to engage Trump in a trial of strength which would only further endanger its companies' trade with the US. The signal being sent to Tehran by the partners of the nuclear agreement is important nonetheless. It goes: 'If you stick to the agreement we won't leave you in the lurch.' And that's a good thing. Because an Iran that is integrated into global commerce and whose nuclear programme is evaluated every few months is less dangerous than an isolated Iran for whom the bomb is the only guarantee of survival.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Europeans should support Trump

Trump's course is right because only confrontation with the regime in Tehran can force it to stop its belligerent interventions in the region, The Daily News is convinced:

“Allies, such as Britain, have much to lose if the spread of Iran's pernicious influence is not contained. … Previously the Government has argued that sticking with the deal is the best way to encourage Tehran to be more responsible. But, as its actions in Syria and elsewhere have shown, the ayatollahs are only interested in sowing discord, not harmony. The best way to bring them to their senses is for Britain and other European powers to give the American president their unequivocal support.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Brussels must deploy heavy weapons

The special-purpose entity planned by the EU won't be able to save the nuclear deal with Iran, Der Standard concludes:

“The risk of the financial institutes involved in the entity being exposed is far too great. A number of European companies have already cancelled projects in the Islamic Republic in their eagerness to comply. Without European companies that openly defy Trump, the efforts to preserve the nuclear deal will be pointless. Because Tehran won't stick to the deal if the economic advantages fall away. So the EU must make serious use of its blocking decree against Washington: if the US goes after European companies outside its territory, for example for using the global payment system, Brussels must take action against it - with demands for compensation and lawsuits.”