Members of the European Union are balking at imposing sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program, The Times of Israel reported last week.
EU members Spain, Italy and Austria rejected proposed penalties by the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, which would penalize Iran for its continued ballistic missile program and support for the Assad regime in Syria’s civil war. These penalties would include freezing assets as travel bans on 15 individuals, companies, and groups involved in these endeavors.
The U.K., France and Germany are attempting to fix the nuclear deal with and address weaknesses in the deal so that President Donald Trump will not withdraw from the deal as threatened. Trump has said that he will not continue to waive sanctions against Iran as per terms of the deal on May 12, when he is next due to do so, unless the deal is fixed to end Iran’s ballistic missile program, ensure that Iran’s military sites can be inspected, and end the sunset clauses in the deal that would allow Iran to build an industrial scale enrichment program, and reduce its breakout time to developing a nuclear weapon to zero.
Italy said that since targeting the ballistic missile program alone would not satisfy Trump and it was concerned about putting its planned €5 billion ($6 billion) business deals with Iran at risk.
The EU, according to its rules, cannot impose further sanctions Iran without unanimous agreement.
The U.K., France, and Germany were three of the six nations who made the deal with Iran in 2015. They have been raising concern with Iran’s ballistic missile program, but it appears that not all members of the EU agree and that disagreements over details of the deal would have derailed it.
In December of last year, both France and Germany reiterated their opposition to Iran’s continued ballistic missile development and called on the Islamic Republic to give up “its hegemonic temptations.”
France and Germany joined the United States and the United Kingdom in August 2017, sending a letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres, charging that Iran’s launch of a satellite violated resolution 2231, the resolution that implemented the nuclear deal.
[Photo: Tasnim News ]