At first glance, it is worth considering that November 4, 2018 marked as the final day of the 180 days’ period regarding Donald Trump’s May 8, 2018 decision to suspend the USA participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Subsequently, on November 5, 2018, the USA re-imposed the sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran. The recent sanctions target the critical sectors of Iran’s economy such as the energy, shipping, shipbuilding and financial sectors.

Since the US cease JCPOA, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has ascertained around 1,000 Iranian individuals and entities under the sanctions and aimed to restrict the country’s oil revenue. However, it should be mentioned that Iran had fulfilled its commitment under JCPOA.

Pursuant to the aforementioned events, the UK, France and Germany are the opponent countries against President Trump’s decision to withdraw the USA from the JCPOA  which certainly confined Islamic Republic of Iran’s capacity to produce nuclear fuel for 15 years.

Therefore, the European Union had declared to establish a system called Instrument in Support on Trade Exchanges (INSTEX)[1] to evade the US sanctions. Although, their efforts for creating an investment entity aimed to bypass some US financial prohibitions has failed to deliver.  While Iran has committed to meet its obligations in the nuclear deal based on the inspections made by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Considering the above, on May 08, 2019, President Rouhani announced that Iran would proceed with leaving from the prohibitions of JCPOA and the USA administration responded with a new round of sanctions against Iran.

Following this, President Rouhani set a 60 days’ deadline for the purpose of getting relief from the harsh sanctions and promising to re-start enriching uranium to a higher level than now allowed under the treaty in case his request would not be met.

President Rouhani emphasized Iran’s tendency is that to remain compatible with JCPOA and the President also stated the question may arise that why the European countries do not argue the US harsh decisions respecting Iran which indeed has diminished Iran’s oil, banking and foreign trade sectors.

Following President Rouhani’s statement, the world reacts to the decision to abandon parts of nuclear deal.

In this regards, on May 09, 2019, the US assigned new embargoes for the purpose of restricting Iran’s metal exports in which the new sanctions, included in an executive order signed by President Trump applying to Iranian iron, steel, aluminum and copper.

The European countries on Thursday, May 19, 2019 issued a joint statement, saying that while their desire is always defending Iran’s situation in a globe, the set deadline by the President is not acceptable so that the subsequent statement was signed by Ms. Mogherini, the foreign policy chief of the European Union, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

We should precisely follow-up this hectic issue and hoping to a conclusion of a positive end.

Coordinated by Dr. Mahnaz Mehrinfar & Ms. Roza Einifar


[1] The Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges is a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) established in January 2019 by France, Germany and the United Kingdom to facilitate non-dollar trade with Iran.