Iranian president visits Switzerland in effort to save nuclear deal from collapse

Iranian president visits Switzerland in effort to save nuclear deal from collapse

The US decision to withdraw from the deal on May 8 has plunged the future of the nuclear accord into doubt.

Iranian President Rouhani addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York

Photo: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

President Hassan Rouhani arrives in Switzerland today as the EU pushes to save the remnants of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement.

The US decision to withdraw from the deal on May 8 has plunged the future of the nuclear accord into doubt. For the EU, political efforts to save the agreement are closely aligned with the economic objectives of its member states and European companies, which all viewed the Western detente with Iran as a major opportunity to expand their economic interests in the region.

The threat of reimposed financial and trade sanctions is of particular concern for European aerospace and energy companies, such as Airbus and Total. Iran and its state airlines have committed to spending over $30 billion on new aircraft from Airbus, whilst energy companies such as France’s Total have commenced exploration and production investment worth $2 billion in major undeveloped gas and oil fields in the country.

Proposals to avoid US sanctions include European central banks acting as intermediaries for any transactions between European businesses and Iran. Today’s visit is not likely to yield major results but is instead expected to reaffirm the political will of Europe to salvaging an agreement without the support of the US.

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