Published: Wed, September 26, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Secretary Pompeo: President Trump is willing to speak with Iranian President Rouhani

Secretary Pompeo: President Trump is willing to speak with Iranian President Rouhani

The European powers with China and Russian Federation are desperately trying to salvage the nuclear deal and on Monday said they had agreed to set up a special payment mechanism to continue trade with Iran in an effort to skirt US sanctions.

The EU move comes a day before Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani separately address the UN General Assembly, with the United States leader expected to take a hard line on Iran.

It saw Iran limit its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.

Iran's economy is already suffering from the sanctions that Washington reimposed after walking away from the nuclear agreement and the U.S. has threatened to punish companies from other nations that continue doing business with Iran.

The EU and Iran say the deal is working and the joint statement says that the International Atomic Energy Agency has certified 12 times that Iran is in compliance with its obligations.

Mogherini's announcement came after a meeting with foreign ministers from Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and Iran on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in NY.

Trump, who has warm relations with Iranian rivals Saudi Arabia and Israel, has pulled the United States out of an worldwide agreement to constrict Iran's nuclear program and instead has restored sanctions.

The statement added the six countries that signed the 2015 nuclear agreement "reconfirmed their commitment to its full and effective implementation in good faith and in a constructive atmosphere".

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It was spearheaded by the Obama administration and saw the lifting of worldwide sanctions. He stressed that if US President Donald Trump wants to talk to Iran, he first must return to the 2015 nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, the EU has vowed to stick with the deal and updated legislation to protect European companies from future sanctions.

Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif (center) and political deputy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran Abbas Araghchi take part in a Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ministerial meeting on the Iran nuclear deal on July 6, 2018, in Vienna, Austria.

EU and Iran agreed late Monday to establish a financial facility in the European Union to facilitate payments for Iranian imports and exports including oil.

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Ms Mogherini said the technical experts would discuss the details of the new payment mechanisms.

A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran's access to the United States dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto sector.

Rodger Shanahan, a research fellow at the Lowry Institute for International Policy, called the European Union agreement "a poke in the eye for the US".

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