German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says European countries need to adopt payment systems independent of the United States if they seek to keep a historic nuclear deal signed with Iran alive after Washington’s withdrawal from it.
According to Press TV, in his statement written in the Handelsblatt business daily, the German foreign minister added that it was “right to legally protect European companies from sanctions.”
“That’s why it is indispensable that we strengthen European autonomy by creating payment channels that are independent of the United States, a European Monetary Fund and an independent SWIFT system,” Mass said in the article to be published on Wednesday.
The top German diplomat emphasized that Europe considered as a mistake the US move to pull out of the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but was ready to work with the United States.
“Every day the deal is alive is better than the highly explosive crisis that would otherwise threaten the Middle East,” he added.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that European countries must be ready to bear the expenses if they want to safeguard their long-term interests in the face of the United States’ law-breaking behavior after quitting a nuclear deal with Iran.
He added, “Europeans have been very good in declaring their positions [on the JCPOA], but to pay that price, they need to make a decision and they have only a limited time for that decision and cannot wait forever.”
Earlier this month, the European Union threatened to impose sanctions on companies that stop doing business with Iran in compliance with the US sanctions snapback mechanism.