Europe says U.S. Threat of Sanctions Imperils Bid to Save Iran Deal

(Wall Street Journal, Washington, 6 JUne 2018) Senior European officials conceded in a letter to the Trump administration that their efforts to save the Iranian nuclear accord by maintaining major trade, investment and export credits with Tehran are buckling in the face of planned U.S. sanctions. European countries have vowed to keep commerce with Iran flowing in order to persuade Tehran to remain in the accord and restrict its nuclear activity. An effort to persuade central banks to make one-off payments to Iran to pay for future oil imports has so far borne little fruit, officials say. The EU is still working on giving Iran fuller access to European Investment Bank loans. Officials are also considering extending credit lines, like the €5 billion ($5.85 billion) program set up by the Italian government, or providing export credit guarantees to companies. However, even these programs could be vulnerable to U.S. sanctions.