European countries have announced intentions to preserve business with Tehran and evade U.S. sanctions within a legal framework, raising tensions between the European Union and the United States.
After talks Monday with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said the Europeans would set up a legal business entity to transfer money without coming under Washington’s scanner.
Britain, France and Germany, in addition to Russia and China, had all pleaded for U.S. President Donald Trump to adhere to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal framework.
For his part, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 73), said he was “disturbed and indeed deeply disappointed” by the EU announcement.
“This is one of the most counterproductive measures imaginable for regional and global peace and security,” Pompeo said in a speech. “By sustaining revenues to the regime, you are solidifying Iran’s ranking as the number-one state sponsor of terror.”
The U.S. has recently reinstated tough economic sanctions which, according to Trump, will remain in place as long as Iranian aggression continues.
“This is one of the of the most counterproductive measures imaginable for regional and global peace and security,” Pompeo said.