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Rouhani Again Asks Macron To Facilitate Trade With Iran

File - Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly at the UN headquarters on September 25, 2018, in New York.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani had another telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron August 6, to discuss issues surrounding U.S. sanctions on Iran and related tensions.

Rouhani and Macron have been reportedly discussing ways to reduce heightened tensions in recent weeks, with several telephone contacts between the two.

Rouhani’s office quoted him as having told Macron, “Concurrent with attempts by Iran and France to reduce tensions and create helpful conditions for lasting coexistence in the region, we are witnessing provocative actions by the Americans.”

The U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif last week, arguing that he is an “apologist” for the actions of the Islamic Republic.

Rouhani also told Macron Europe should act to facilitate oil exports and international banking for Iran as part of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear agreement known as JCPOA.

Iran ha been pressuring Europe for measures to allow for Iranian oil exports and access to international banking. Despite promises to help Iran circumvent U.S. sanctions, Europe has not been able to do much in practical terms.

Iran’s economy is in dire conditions, hit hard by sanctions, especially stringent restriction by Washington on its oil exports. Most countries and companies in the world are reluctant to do business with Iran fearful of violating U.S. sanctions.