European Investment Bank says cannot ignore US sanctions on Iran

Published: June 6, 2018
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EU’s lending arm is reluctant to engage in Iran under pressure from the United States. PHOTO: REUTERS

EU’s lending arm is reluctant to engage in Iran under pressure from the United States. PHOTO: REUTERS

BRUSSELS: The European Investment Bank (EIB) said it could not ignore potential US sanctions on Iran after the EU executive urged it to do business there to help keep trade flows open and save the 2015 nuclear deal.

“A prerequisite for its business model is that the bank should remain a solid and credible institution on the international capital markets, and this would be incompatible with ignoring possible sanctions against Iran,” a spokesman for the bank told Reuters in an email. “The EIB is a capital market based institution, and like all other similar bodies the bank cannot be the solution to this problem.  The EU bank is not the right tool.”

It is the EIB’s first official comments on the European Commission’s enable the bank to work in Iran, where it has never before done business. EU sources, however, say the European Union’s lending arm is reluctant to engage in Iran, under pressure from the United States – where the bank raises much of its funds.

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