Dem warns Europe against rushing to do business with Iran

Dem warns Europe against rushing to do business with Iran
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A top Senate Democrat is warning European businesses not to be too eager to do business with Iran, after international sanctions were lifted last month.

“While every business deal with Iran is not inherently dangerous, I’m increasingly concerned that in some quarters, the nuclear agreement is viewed less as a matter of keeping Iran from building a nuclear weapon, and more as a business opportunity,” Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsThis week: Congress gets ball rolling on tax reform Lift the Jones Act and similar restrictions for humanitarian crises Overnight Tech: White House unveils tech education initiative | Bannon reportedly sought to spy on Facebook | Uber CEO to appeal London ban | John Oliver rips AT&T-Time Warner merger MORE (D-Del.) wrote in an op-ed in Britain's The Guardian newspaper on Tuesday.

“[T]he willingness of a number of nations to economically embrace the Iranian regime must not keep us from enforcing Iran’s important commitments to limit its nuclear program,” added Coons, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Coons supported the Iran agreement but has urged caution about implementing the deal.

The Tuesday op-ed comes as a word of warning to Europe, where businesses have rushed to enter into business with the formerly isolated country.    

“We must all remember that the most important contract with Iran is the one we’ve already signed: the nuclear agreement,” Coons wrote. “Until we can enforce that contract, we must not rush to sign new ones that put the effectiveness of the first one in jeopardy.”

Since the accord was implemented last month, Iran has signed business deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars giving it a fresh supply of airplanes, cars and machinery.

The nuclear deal lifted sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sector in exchange for limits designed to prevent it from being able to build a nuclear weapon. Those sanctions have been designed to “snap back” into place if Iran breaks its obligations, Coons warned.

Despite the lifting of nuclear sanctions, however, other sanctions targeting Iran’s ballistic missile development continue to be in place.

Unlike Europe, the U.S. also continues to enforce multiple additional sanctions preventing American companies from diving into Tehran.