Alexander Van der Bellen

Vienna regrets Washington’s decision to re-impose sanctions on Iran as these restrictions violate international law.

Austrian President, Alexander Van der Bellen, said on Wednesday that the restrictions also affect Austria due to their extraterritorial nature.

In May, President Donald Trump announced U.S. withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Under JCPOA, Iran kept its nuclear programme peaceful in exchange for the gradual lifting of international sanctions.

Washington plans to reintroduce all sanctions against Iran, including those targeting third parties that do business with the country, after its withdrawal.

“Austria regrets the U.S. pull-out from the JCPOA.

“We also regret the U.S. decision to re-impose sanctions on Iran.

“This does not concern the so-called primary sanctions against Iran, but the secondary sanctions, which affect Austria, too.

“We believe that these secondary sanctions violate international law due to their extraterritorial nature,’’ Mr Van der Bellen told newsmen after his talks with Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, in Vienna.

The Austrian president added the European Commission supports this position against the U.S. decisions related to the JCPOA.

Mr Rouhani is currently on his European trip aimed at discussing the future of the JCPOA, after the US withdrawal, with EU member states.

On Monday and Tuesday, the Iranian President visited Switzerland, after which he arrived in Austria.

EU officials have repeatedly criticised the extraterritorial nature of sanctions imposed by the U.S. on the countries considered by Washington as its adversaries.

After the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA, other signatories, Iran, China, France, Russia, the UK, Germany and the EU said they would abide by it.

Moreover, EU leaders asked the U.S. to grant sanctions waivers to the bloc’s companies cooperating with Iran.

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