US withdraws from Iran deal, European investments under threat

Last week U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of a landmark nuclear deal between Iran, the U.S. and its European allies.

Against appeals from other parties to the deal, including Britain, France and Germany, President Trump made the official announcement on Tuesday, May 8, and called the 2015 Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) “the worst deal ever negotiated.”

European partners have been working to salvage the agreement and preserve their commercial links with Iran. “The deal is not dead. There’s an American withdrawal from the deal but the deal is still there,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told Reuters.

Since the announcement, the U.S. Treasury has imposed new sanctions against Iran, making it difficult for the country to make international oil trades and access the international banking system.

Although the sanctions affect only U.S. companies, the Trump administration is putting pressure on European allies to impose their own sanctions. A number of major business deals are at risk, including energy industry developments. Among them is Total’s $5bn project to develop the world’s largest gas field, South Pars, where the French oil company has a 50.1 percent stake.