European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini addresses a joint news conference with Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez at the EU Council in Brussels, Belgium May 15, 2018.
The Japanese FM on Wednesday had said his country is unhappy with the USA withdrawal from Iran deal and will make efforts to preserve it. Le Maire asked. "Or do we want to say we have our economic interests, we consider we will continue to do trade with Iran?" The foreign ministers of Germany, France and the United Kingdom are scheduled to hold emergency talks over the subject with Iranian representatives in Brussels on Tuesday.
He said he told U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that if he doesn't exempt the French companies, he should consider a so-called grandfather clause for deals struck in Iran since 2015 or an extension of the 90-day period the Treasury Department has set to wind down operations in Iran.
Before the tour Zarif reiterated that Iran was preparing to resume "industrial scale" uranium enrichment "without any restrictions" unless Europe provided solid guarantees it could maintain trade ties despite renewed United States sanctions. But senior Iranian official Ali Akbar Velayati said in Tehran that Iran's defensive missile program was not negotiable.
European firms, especially those from France and Germany, rushed to invest in Iran following the 2015 accord, under which Tehran agreed to freeze its nuclear programme in return for an end to punishing global sanctions. "We are on the right track. a lot will depend on what we can do in next few weeks", he said.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will embark on a diplomatic tour to try to salvage the accord, and is seeking "required guarantees" from the five other parties to the agreement as well as Iran's other economic parties.
The EU's energy commissioner is also travelling this week to Iran to discuss strengthening European energy support to the Islamic Republic.
However, one analyst at London's Chatham House, Yossi Mekelberg, told AFP the strikes on Iranian targets "were likely undertaken with tacit Russian approval".
"So we will be looking at a package of measures that we may be able to devise as Europeans to encourage the Iranians to stay in the deal".
Iran's deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi on Sunday gave France, Germany and the United Kingdom 60 days to guarantee that business ties between the countries will continue, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.
China buys the largest share of Iranian oil, and most of the rest is sold to the other top Asian consumers, Japan and South Korea, which have also indicated that they will continue business with Iran despite the US decision.
Trump not only has undone USA participation in worldwide climate deals but also has scrapped domestic environmental regulations. "Therefore, our talks would also discuss the issue of how to make it possible to continue trade with Iran", he said.
Exports of German goods to Iran rose by around 400 million euros to 3 billion euros.