STOCKHOLM (Sputnik) – It will be difficult for the Swedish companies to remain on the Iranian market in light of the reimposition of the US sanctions against the Islamic Republic, Swedish Minister for EU Affairs and Trade Ann Linde said in an interview released on Tuesday.
“The messages received from the Swedish companies, which we contacted, say that, in general, all [the companies] are reducing their activities in Iran in order not to jeopardize their business in the United States, which is a far larger market [than Iran],” Linde said.
She also commented on the EU Blocking Statute’s activation, which exempted the EU firms from complying with the US sanctions against Iran.
“The ban on compliance with sanctions signalizes how seriously the European Union views the sanctions and that [the bloc] assumes responsibility. Then every company takes its own decision, there is no forcing to continue one’s activity in Iran,” Linde indicated.
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On Monday night, the United States reinstated comprehensive sanctions against Iran, including secondary sanctions targeting states doing business with the country, which were previously frozen by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal.
In 2012, after the imposition of anti-Iranian sanctions the Swedish exports dropped from 6.7 billion Swedish krona ($751 million) to 1 billion. In 2017, Sweden’s export to Iran totaled 4.3 billion Swedish krona.
In May, US President Donald Trump announced that his country would exit the 2015 JCPOA, which stipulated the gradual lifting of the anti-Iran sanctions in exchange for Tehran maintaining the peaceful nature of its nuclear program. In addition, Trump decided to reinstate the previously lifted sanctions on Iran. The unilateral move has been opposed by other signatories to the agreement, which pledged commitment to the deal.