On 2 November 2018, a joint statement was released by Foreign and Financial Ministers of the UK, France and Germany, including Philip Hammond and Jeremy Hunt, expressing the countries’ regret regarding the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran by the U.S. as a result of the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA).
The statement highlights the nations’ view that the JCPoA is an important tool in the process of nuclear non-proliferation and states that “It is crucial for the security of Europe, the region, and the entire world.” It further highlights that Iran has met and implemented all nuclear commitments, which has been independently confirmed by 12 consecutive reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The UK, France and Germany commit to working with Iran to ensure maintenance of financial channels and the export of oil and gas via an initiative to establish a Special Purpose Vehicle which will allow European parties to pursue legitimate trade with Iran. This intention is supported by the EU, demonstrated by the implementation of amendments to the EU Blocking Regulation which came into force in August of this year. The function of these amendments to the EU Blocking Regulation is to block the application in the EU of extraterritorial U.S. sanctions targeting Iran. Further details of this Regulation can be found in previous blogs posts, here. It is, however, acknowledged in the joint statement that further work is required, and is being undertaken, to reassure businesses wishing to pursue trade with Iran.