Macron: EU summit decides to back JCPOA

Macron: EU summit decides to back JCPOA

Asked on arrival at a summit of European Union leaders in Bulgaria if he was concerned about an announcement by French oil major Total that it may pull out of Iran after Washington pulled out of the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Macron said it was up to firms active in various markets to make their own decisions, Reuters reported. "They should continue to have this freedom", he added".

The EU wants to salvage the Iran nuclear deal, which offers the Islamic Republic relief from economic sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program and Europe sees as an important element of global security. "We have opted to support it whatever the United States decides to do", said the French president on arrival at the Sofia summit.

Ignoring European support for the nuclear pact, U.S. President Donald Trump branded the agreement as "the worst deal ever" and announced on May 8 the United States was pulling out.

Sanctions are already beginning to bite with French energy giant Total preparing to pull out of a billion dollar gas project in Iran.

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker was due to present options to protect the substantial European investment in Iran.


"I don't know the exact timing details, but I am certain that we're also going to shut down (in Iran)", Skou said.

But the reach of the US financial system, the dominance of the dollar and the presence of European companies' operations in the United States all weaken any potential EU measures.

Shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk on Thursday joined a growing list of companies preparing to call a halt to doing business with Iran, casting doubts on whether European leaders can keep alive a nuclear deal with Tehran.

Merkel defended this Wednesday before the legislators the validity and importance of the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed in 2015 between Iran and six worldwide powers (China, United States, France, United Kingdom, Russia, and Germany).

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