John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, predicted that “the Europeans will see that it’s in their interests to come along with us” rather than continue with the 2015 deal, under which major European corporations have signed billions of dollars of contracts in Iran.
“We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanctions,” Trump said. “Any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States.”
In the aftermath of Washington’s pullout, Europeans are seeking ways to protect the interests of their firms doing business in Iran and help them escape the brunt of upcoming US bans.
Senior EU politicians recently threatened that the 28-nation bloc is ready to challenge any move that may harm their businesses in the Iranian market at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The White House has already began a fresh push to put pressure on Iran and Washington’s European allies.
In the past week, it has slapped a new series of sanctions against Iran.
On Sunday, US National Security Adviser John Bolton threatened the European allies that Washington is prepared to impose sanctions on European companies if their governments refuse to heed Trump’s demand to stop dealing with Iran.
- Amy Goodman to Madeline Albright:
… many say that, although president Bush led this invasion, that president Clinton laid the groundwork with the sanctions and with the previous bombing of Iraq. You were president Clinton’s U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations…. the U.N. sanctions, for example … led to the deaths of more than a half a million children, not to mention more than a million Iraqis.
“Today we hope to see how we can with participation of European Troyka, China, Russia, Iran and European Union to use the mechanisms available not to allow undermining of this important document,”Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed.
Lavrov also voiced support for Iran’s right to defend its “legitimate interests” as part of the agreement, which removed nuclear sanctions against Iran in early 2016 in exchange for certain limits on its civilian nuclear activities.
“I would like to point out that Russia and other participants in the deal – China and the European countries – also have their legitimate interests enshrined in this agreement,” he added. “This is why we need to cooperate in protecting our legitimate interests.”
Zarif arrived in Moscow following similar negotiations in China and will later head to Brussels for talks with the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, and his counterparts from the three European parties.