Germany confirms report of US threat of higher tariff on EU auto sector over JCPOA

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting on January 8, 2020 at the Chancellery in Berlin. (Photo by AFP)

Germany has confirmed a report that the United States has threatened Germany, France and Britain – the E3 states – with imposing a 25-percent of punishing tariff on European car exports if they fail to accuse Iran of breaking the 2015 nuclear deal.

On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that US President Donald Trump’s administration had issued the shocking private threat against the E3 states just a week before they jointly triggered the deal’s dispute mechanism, which amounts to a formal accusation that Tehran had breached the agreement.

The landmark nuclear deal – officially known as known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - had been reached between Iran and five other countries – the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.

However in May 2018, Trump unilaterally pulled his country out of the JCPOA and later reimposed the sanctions that had been lifted against Tehran and began unleashing the “toughest ever” fresh sanctions, urging other signatories, particularly the E3 states, to withdraw from the deal with Iran.

The trio submitted to the demand and refused to meet Iran’s business interests under the deal despite an earlier pledge to do so.

Regarding the US threat reported by the Washington Post daily, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer confirmed at a press conference on Thursday that “this expression or threat, as you will, does exist.”

For an entire year since Washington’s withdrawal, Tehran remained fully compliant with the JCPOA, waiting for the co-signatories to fulfill their end of the bargain by offsetting the impacts of Washington’s bans on the Iranian economy.

As the E3 states failed to do so, Tehran moved in May 2019 to suspend its JCPOA commitments under Articles 26 and 36 of the deal covering Tehran’s legal rights. Iran took its fifth and final commitment reduction step earlier this month.

A day after the Washington Post’s report, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blasted the E3 states for bowing to American bullying and selling out the “remnants” of the JCPOA, which has been endorsed by the UN Security Council as a resolution.

“E3 sold out remnants of #JCPOA to avoid new Trump tariffs. It won’t work my friends. You only whet his appetite. Remember your high school bully?” Zarif said. “If you want to sell your integrity, go ahead. But DO NOT assume high moral/legal ground. YOU DON’T HAVE IT,” Iran’s top diplomat tweeted.

On Thursday, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran “is now enriching” more uranium than it did before signing the JCPOA, as the E3 states failed to fulfill their commitments.

If they [the three European countries] reduced their commitments, we did so as well,” Rouhani further said as he slammed Trump for violating the deal and unilaterally pulling out of it.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku