Iran’s foreign minister called a number of EU leaders, urging them to stand by Tehran as U.S. President Donald Trump levies a raft of damaging sanctions against the country, Politico reported on Saturday.
Washington announced Friday that it would reinstate all economic sanctions on Iran that had been lifted as a result of the 2015 nuclear deal, one of former Barack Obama’s key foreign policy achievements that saw Tehran freeze its nuclear program in exchange for an easing of financial pressure.
The reinstated sanctions — which target the country’s energy, finance and shipping sectors — come into force Monday.
Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, called EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Sweden’s Margot Wallström and Denmark’s Anders Samuelsen, according to Iranian state news agency IRNA, to seek their continued support.
Brussels has been outspoken in its defense of the Iran deal. On Friday, the EU, France, Germany and the U.K. issued a joint statement saying that they “deeply regretted” Washington’s decision. “It is our aim to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran,” they said.
Several senior EU ministers assured Zarif of their support for Tehran over the phone. “Mogherini and the European ministers … reiterated their commitment to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and emphasized the efforts to maintain financial channels with Tehran and the continuation of Iran’s oil and gas exports,” IRNA reported.