European Commission decides to blocs United States sanctions against Iran on its territory

18 May, 2018, 14:48 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • French oil giant Total is preparing to pull out of Iran to avoid risking US sanctions

On Friday morning the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, will begin putting a so-called blocking statute in place to shield European companies doing business with Iran from US sanctions.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced that the bloc plans to kickstart a 1996 law that would prohibit European companies from complying with United States sanctions on Iran.

Other measures proposed by the Commission, the EU executive, include urging EU governments to make transfers to Iran's central bank and to start the legal process of allowing the European Investment Bank to lend to EU projects in Iran.

EC will maintain its cooperation with Iran while the US Treasury Department has recently announced to European companies that they have been given a six-month deadline to end their investment in Iran.

With this option, European companies were forbidden to comply with USA sanctions against Iran under threat of punishment. In particular, both sides have discussed how to keep revenue flowing into Iran in light of pending sanctions.

Perhaps sensing what is coming, French President Emmanuel Macron took a slightly softer tone, and said that the French defense of Iran nuclear accord is based on concerns about security and stability, not commerce, and that the deal should be supplemented and it is necessary to continue negotiations, including on missile program. It is about stability, it is about favoring an opening of Iranian society.

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Earlier this month, the USA announced its intention to withdraw from the JCPoA, an agreement which prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for greater participation in the global economy.

U.S. individuals and entities are barred from doing business with them following the move.

European Union officials say they are revamping the blocking statute to encompass Trump's May 8 decision to revive Iran-related sanctions.

European businesses are anxious that their ties with the United States could be damaged if they continue doing Iranian deals.

Despite their defiant response to Mr. Trump, it is unclear how effective any European Union measures would be in countering the restored American sanctions on Iran. Please donate or subscribe to help fund independent journalism for the Iranian Diaspora.

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