June 6, 2018 / 2:45 PM / 10 months ago

EIB says cannot ignore U.S. sanctions on Iran

BRUSSELS, June 6 (Reuters) - The European Investment Bank on Wednesday said it could not ignore potential U.S. 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 comment 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. (Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel @AdeCar)

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