July 18, 2018 / 11:01 AM / a month ago

EIB chief backs EU's Iran policy but says bank cannot invest there

BRUSSELS, July 18 (Reuters) - The head of the European Investment Bank said on Wednesday he supported the European Union's efforts to keep alive the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran but warned that lending to Tehran could undermine the bank.

"There is no European bank which is presently able to do business in and with Iran," said Werner Hoyer, the president of the EIB, the European Union's not-for-profit long term investment arm, told a news conference.

"We have to take note of the fact that we would risk the business model of the bank if we were active in Iran."

The European Union wants the bank to do business in Iran to help maintain economic links with Iran in the face of Washington's decision to pull out of the nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Reporting by Robin Emmott and Alissa de Carbonnel

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