EU agree to establish dollarless trade with Iran

 europe Iran cooperation 

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the three major European signatories to a landmark nuclear deal with Iran agreed to establish trade ties with Iran independent of the US dollar.

Major European countries party to nuclear negotiations with Iran - France, Germany and the UK - have agreed to maintain trade with Tehran independent from the US dollar, said Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Lavrov told reporters in Vienna that French companies Total and Peugeot have already left Iran as they decided that the US market is more important for them. French shipping company CMA CGM, one of the world's largest cargo shipping companies, has recently announced that it will stop doing business with Iran out of fear of becoming targeted by Washington. 

"Our French colleagues explained they cannot do anything. The only thing they can do is to collectively and individually develop such forms of trade and settlements with Iran that won't depend on the dollar and will be conducted by companies that see trade with Iran as more profitable than with the US," the Russian Foreign Minister said. According to Lavrov, the decision particularly concerns small and medium-sized companies. He explained that the participants in the Iranian deal have agreed to work out measures to protect the countries' businesses from US sanctions. 

"Everyone agrees that this is an absolutely illegal and unacceptable policy, but, of course, this can hardly be changed and there will be enough struggle in trade, economic and political spheres," the minister said. Last week, EU lawmakers gave approval for the European Investment Bank (EIB) to do business in Iran in an attempt to save the 2015 nuclear deal. The US withdrew from the deal on May 8. US sanctions will snap back in two parts, with a first round returning in August, and with the harshest sanctions returning in early November.