Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Iran's diplomatic push in Brussels

Iran's diplomatic push in Brussels

A prominent Iranian cleric on Friday threatened two Israeli cities with destruction if the Jewish state "acts foolishly" and attacks its interests again, while thousands of protesters demonstrated against President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal with world powers.

"The agreement with Iran is working, we must do our utmost to preserve it", - Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for the head of European Union diplomacy Federica Mogherini.

Mr Le Maire said he was seeking concrete exemptions for French companies already present in Iran, including Renault, Total, Sanofi, Danone and Peugeot. In his words, "What this means is the deal was not constructed on a foundation of good faith or transparency".

He said British and European officials would meet in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss ways to protect companies against US sanctions on Iran, which will be phased in over the next six months. He is expected to unveil his decision by May 12.

"The Iranian regime's deployment into Syria of offensive rocket and missile systems aimed at Israel is an unacceptable and highly unsafe development for the entire Middle East", the statement said. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said possibilities to save the deal without Washington needed to be discussed with Tehran, while France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said EU states would propose sanctions- blocking measures to the European Commission.

Prices jumped 3 percent Wednesday after President Donald Trump said the USA would scrap a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers that had eased restrictions on the Islamic Republic's crude exports.

He said perhaps they feel that way in large part because representatives of the Obama administration were working in the past several weeks to try and prevent the deal from abrogating, which may have given the Europeans the false impression that they could prevail.

"Indeed, the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, stated that he would wait to see how other countries reacted before taking any action". The semi-official Fars news agency, believed to be close to the Revolutionary Guard, dismissed Netanyahu's speech as a "propaganda show".

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When asked whether he'd advocate for pre-emptive military strikes against Iran, Bolton reiterated that he's an adviser to the president and would not make the final decision.

Oil's recent rally has been propelled by Trump's decision to reinstate sanctions on Iran and on simmering geopolitical tensions surrounding the energy-rich Middle East.

South Korea depends 100 percent on imports for its oil and refines the imported crude oil within the nation.

"The last round of sanctions, which were imposed in 2012, caused Iran's oil production to fall by about 1 million barrels per day". He pointed to missile tests, saying Iran is "not sitting back idly".

As such, prices are likely to remain elevated for the next few months at least, said the consulting company. But he says if the USA does pull out, he still may negotiate a "real agreement".

Riedel noted that the US was no longer playing the role it has traditionally occupied in the Middle East.

After long negotiations, Iran had agreed in July 2015 to freeze its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of punishing global sanctions.

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