Iran to protest U.S. nuclear deal pullout when parties meet May 25

President Hassan Rouhani

Iran, Gaza, Trump's steel and aluminium tariffs on the menu at EU leaders' dinner in Sofia

Soon after JCPOA came into force January 16, 2016, Iran was already asking countries it sold oil to for payments to made in euros instead of dollars, since the U.S. currency is subject to other sanctions by the U.S. These payments included both dues for earlier supplies, as well as new contracts it was signing at the time.

Options could include drafting an EU licence allowing European firms to do business with Iran while protecting them from United States sanctions, as well as support from the European Investment Bank and measures backing smaller firms that are not active in the US.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said European and Iranian officials held talks to address various challenges - from maintaining and deepening economic, transport and financial relations, to protecting European companies doing business with Iran in light of promised US economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The Iran nuclear deal was signed between six countries in 2015 - Iran, US, Britain, Germany, Russia, France and China for lifting economic sanctions on Tehran in exchange for limitations to the country's nuclear programme. The 28-nation bloc is scrambling to contain the fallout from President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the landmark agreement.

The European Commission has been examining measures to counter the introduction of any US sanctions that might harm European businesses and is expected to unveil them to EU leaders at a summit in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Wednesday. That would be the diplomatic equivalent of a slap in the face.

"I'm privy to the information that the European Union is going to shift from dollar to euro to pay for crude from Iran", the website of Russian news channel RT said on Wednesday, citing a diplomatic source who spoke to Sputnik news agency.

How many fake accounts did Facebook quash so far this year?
But users are still reporting the majority of hate-speech posts, or about 62 percent of them, before Facebook takes them down. Current estimates by the firm suggest 3-4% of active Facebook accounts on the site between October 2017 and March were fake .

Do you hear Yanny or Laurel?
While some can rest on their " laurels ", many have sparked a debate about how two people can hear different names. Its accompanied by a brief audio sample that sounds, impossibly, like both of the two very different words.

Uneasy Calm Falls Over Gaza After Scores Killed in Protests
Trump has stood firm in his position and called Monday a "big day for Israel " on Twitter. President Barack Obama's administration.

Nevertheless, U.S. sanctions are a daunting hammer.

'But we have to accept, we have to be realistic, about the electrified rail, the live wire of American extra-territoriality and how that can serve as a deterrent to business. that doesn't mean there aren't some things we can do'.

"Unfortunately getting out of the Iran agreement, I think we're now starting from scratch with Iran", Paul said, adding he thought there was "potential" to add more to the agreement before Trump's decision to exit unilaterally from the deal. The pact, which was not a formal treaty, came after the USA and allies started imposing sanctions on Iran in 2011, devastating its economy. Iranian hard-liners who always felt the agreement made too many concessions may be emboldened to restart nuclear enrichment, but they could risk airstrikes from the United States and Israel if they did so.

To keep the deal alive, the European Union must make sure that it remains in Tehran's interest to comply by ensuring that trade can continue with Iran, despite the renewed threat of USA sanctions.

European officials have pursued exemptions for companies operating in Iran and have floated laws requiring firms not to suspend business there because of USA sanctions.

"We are not fantasising that Europe will break its relations with America. but we want Europeans to defend their own interests", Zarif added. "We are on the right track. a lot will depend on what we can do in next few weeks", he said.

Latest News