06 AGOSTO 2018
The oil sector in Iran-US competition
DI Francesca Manenti

Almost two months after the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - JCPOA), the Iranian government is struggling for assuring the future stability of the pact. Despite the repeated requests to partners in both Europe and Asia to find a solution for ensuring the continued implementation of the JCPOA, no concrete proposal for limiting the effects of the resumption of sanctions by the US has been advanced so far.

Even the last meeting, held among signatory countries in Vienna on 6 July at Foreign Ministers level, led to nothing and thus highlighted the technical difficulties that the negotiators are facing to create a mechanism to safeguard the commitments made with the nuclear deal. Beyond the unanimous stance in favor of the JCPOA and its binding capacity, neither the European representatives nor China and Russia wanted to commit themselves to the actual possibility of limiting the fallout of US decertification.

According to the EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini, the European Union is about to approve a financial mechanism to protect its companies from any retaliation by the United States, based essentially on two pillars: the update of the EU “Blocking Statute” in order to protect EU Member States’ companies; and the update the European Investment Bank’s external lending mandate to cover Iran. However, both steps still seem to be in their early stage or to have to go through the intricate Brussels’ bureaucracy.

 

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