Most French Firms ‘Unable to Stay’ in Iran

Most French Firms ‘Unable to Stay’ in Iran due to US Sanctions: Minister

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that after the US imposes new sanctions on Iran most French companies would be unable to continue business in Iran because of problems over payment, also saying that the US cannot be the “planet’s economic policeman”.

Most French companies hoping to keep doing business in Iran after the US imposes new sanctions on the country will find it impossible to do so, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Tuesday, AFP reported.

These companies “won’t be able to stay because they need to be paid for the products they deliver to or build in Iran, and they cannot be paid because there is no sovereign and autonomous European financial institution” capable of shielding them, Le Maire said.

The new sanctions announced by US President Donald Trump in May after he pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal would punish any foreign firm operating in Iran which also does business with the US or in dollars.

“Our priority is to build independent, sovereign European financial institutions which would allow financing channels between French, Italian, German, Spanish and any other countries on the planet,” Le Maire said.

“It’s up to us Europeans to choose freely and with sovereign power who we want to do business with,” he added.

“The United States should not be the planet’s economic policeman.”

Le Maire and his EU counterparts have been trying to secure exemptions for their firms, many of which rushed back into Iran after the landmark nuclear accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

But French oil group Total and carmaker PSA have already indicated they are unlikely to stay in the country, while Renault has said it will remain despite the sanctions — though it does not sell its cars in the US.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

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