US sanctions politically motivated; EU support for Iran crucial

Business Materials 9 June 2018 13:36 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, June 9

By Kamyar Eghbalnejad - Trend:

Mohammad Ali Khatibi, Iran’s former governor to OPEC, said Washington’s new sanctions against Iran are politically motivated, calling the EU’s support for Iran at this juncture a crucial factor.

“Foreign firms can continue to work with their counterparts in Iran if Tehran and the EU governments manage to reach a general agreement and address the concerns of investors in the oil and non-oil sectors,” Khatibi told the Trend on June 9.

Referring to impending US sanctions against Iran, he urged the Iranian and European governments to address the investors’ concerns and support them in the face of the US threats.

He also raised his forecast for oil prices for this year due to rising demand and the potential for supply loss from Iran after the sanctions come into effect.

The potential rise in oil prices will be more of a physiological war if not accompanied by practical steps, Khatibi said.

The former Iranian envoy to the OPEC further said that Iran would certainly find new clients for its oil if the foreign firms walk away from their contracts.

In a speech from the White House on May 8, US President Donald Trump accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism and seeking nukes before announcing the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany), known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Trump also said he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

The new US sanctions will take six months to kick in, but a number of European companies have already halted their businesses in Iran despite verbal pledges by their governments to protect them against any fallout.