EU parliament supports EIB’s work with Iran

 Europe-Iran Business 

The European Parliament has granted permission to the European Investment Bank (EIB) to do business in Iran as Europeans scramble to devise mechanisms aimed at saving the 2015 nuclear deal without the US and protecting their commercial ties with Tehran in the face of returning American sanctions.

The parliament blocked Wednesday a motion that was seeking to prevent the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, from lifting restrictions on the Luxembourg-based EIB, the bloc’s not-for-profit long term investment arm, in Iran.

The measure, which was proposed by the far-right Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group (EFDD), failed with only 93 votes for, 573 against and 11 abstentions.

“We are granting the EIB the capacity to invest in Iran if suitable projects are found,” said Siegfried Muresan, a lawmaker from the center-right European People’s Party (EPP).

“The Iran deal is good for Europe’s security,” he told Reuters, referring to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), under which Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.

After Washington’s withdrawal from the JCPOA in May, the administration of US President Donald Trump pledged “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.