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EU Unites on Iran With Moves to Counter Sanctions

18 May 2018

Juncker said the commission will begin the process of activating a so-called blocking statute, which bans European Union companies from observing the sanctions and any court rulings that enforce USA penalties.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump opted to withdraw the USA from a joint nuclear agreement with Iran, and chose to reinstate all sanctions that had previously been imposed on Iran, but were waived when the deal was signed in 2015.

Maersk, the world's biggest shipping container firm, the French oil giant Total and German-based insurance firm Allianz have already announced plans to withdraw from operations in Iran, to avoid new USA sanctions.

As long as the Iranians respect their commitments, the EU will of course stick to the agreement of which it was an architect - an agreement that was unanimously ratified by the United Nations Security Council and which is essential for preserving peace in the region and the world,"said the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker".

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The European Union took formal steps Friday to shield its firms from U.S. sanctions on Iran as part of efforts to save the worldwide nuclear deal with Tehran.

Also, EC has chose to allow European Investment Bank to facilitate investment of European companies in the Islamic Republic of Iran, he maintained.

This mechanism, dating back to 1996 and never used, adopted at the time to circumvent the embargo on Cuba, allows European companies and courts not to submit to regulations relating to sanctions taken by third countries.

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.

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European investments in Iran, mainly from Germany, France, and Italy, have jumped by more than 20 billion euros since 2016.

The White House said that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) provides Iran with opportunities for creating a nuclear bomb by evading all current restrictions. Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete will travel to Tehran this weekend.

The approach, it said, could ensure Tehran receives its oil-related revenues if USA sanctions target European Union firms active in oil transactions with Iran.

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EU Unites on Iran With Moves to Counter Sanctions