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EU: Encouraging trade crucial to nuclear deal

The Associated PressWELLINGTON (AP) — The European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says the EU is encouraging enterprises to increase their business with Iran, as that country has been compliant with their nuclear-related commitments.

Mogherini told reporters Tuesday during her trip to Wellington, New Zealand, that it’s up to Europeans to decide who they want to trade with.

“We are doing our best to keep Iran in the deal, to keep Iran benefiting from the economic benefits that the agreement brings to the people of Iran because we believe this is in the security interests of not only our region, but also of the world. If there is one piece of international agreements on nuclear non-proliferation that is delivering, it has to be maintained,” Mogherini said.

The United States reimposed stiff economic sanctions on Iran on Monday, ratcheting up pressure on the Islamic Republic despite statements of deep dismay from European allies, three months after President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the international accord limiting Iran’s nuclear activities.

European ministers said the Iran deal was crucial for Europe’s and the world’s security, and the European Union issued a “blocking statute” Monday to protect European businesses from the impact of the sanctions.

Mogherini, speaking at a news conference alongside New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters, said the EU and New Zealand saw the need to maintain the nuclear deal with Iran, notwithstanding the U.S. withdrawal, and that she and Peters had discussed in detail how to keep open trade and financial channels with Iran.

“We are encouraging small and medium enterprises in particular to increase business with and in Iran as part of something [that] for us is a security priority,” Mogherini said, explaining that trade is an integral part of the nuclear deal.Speech

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