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Norway defies Trump, enters $4-billion deal with Iran

A Norwegian solar company has signed a $4-billion investment deal with Iran just days after US President Donald Trump calls for isolating Tehran.

“Norway is fully committed to the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and this is proof that we have taken the opening very seriously, and we will see more investment very soon,” AFP quoted Norway’s Ambassador to Tehran Lars Nordrum on Tuesday.

Nordrum made the comment during the signing ceremony of a deal between Norway’s Saga Energy and Iran’s Amin Energy Developers aimed at the installation of two gigawatts of solar panels in various locations in the country’s deserts.

The project is being financed by a consortium of European private and state investors.

“We hope to build a factory in Iran to build the panels so that we are also generating jobs,” said Saga’s Development Manager Gaute Steinkopf.

“I’d like to thank Norway, which has always been one of the best friends to Iran, for this exciting opportunity,” said Amin’s Head of International Affairs, Saeid Zakeri.

The joint measures come just days after Trump refused to formally certify that Iran was complying with the 2015 nuclear deal and warned that he might ultimately terminate the agreement.

While Trump did not pull Washington out of the JCPOA, he gave the US Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions against Tehran that were lifted under the pact. Reimposing sanctions would put the US at odds with other signatories to the accord and the European Union.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that Washington’s traditional allies are siding with Tehran over the nuclear deal.

On Monday, European Union foreign ministers reaffirmed their support for the historic nuclear agreement, saying the accord is working and is a key part of non-proliferation efforts.

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