European Union moves to block USA sanctions on Iran

18 May, 2018, 16:22 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • The South Pars gas field facilities in the southern Iranian port town of Assaluyeh                  AFP  Atta Kenare

During their meeting with their Iranian counterpart Mohammed Javad Zarif earlier this week, European Union foreign ministers discussed how best to keep the nuclear agreement alive without the US.

President Jean-Claude Juncker said the commission would revive legislation - known as the blocking statute - which bans European companies from complying with the USA sanctions against Iran and stops foreign court judgments based on these laws being effective in the EU.

"As the European Commission we have the duty to protect European companies".

The EU's blocking statute bans any EU company from complying with USA sanctions and does not recognize any court rulings that enforce American penalties.

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.

USA sanctions must be reinstated within 90 to 180 days.

The European Commission, the EU executive, said Friday it "launched the formal process to activate the blocking statute by updating the list of United States sanctions on Iran falling within its scope".

UK review after tower block fire sparks controversy
UK review after tower block fire sparks controversy

The EU launched formal steps Friday aimed at sparing European firms fallout from United States sanctions on Iran as part of efforts to preserve the nuclear deal with Tehran.

The European Parliament and the Council of the EU will decide to approve or reject the proposals within two months, ahead of the first batch of US sanctions taking effect on August 6.

In a Friday statement, the Commission also said it "will continue and strengthen the ongoing sectoral cooperation with, and assistance to, Iran, including in the energy sector and with regard to small and medium-sized companies".

"The American sanctions will not be without effect".

The 2015 nuclear deal opened Iran to global investments after four decades of sanctions.

The European Commission received the unanimous backing of EU heads of government to proceed with proposals made by commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and High Representative Federica Mogherini, which aim to protect European companies investing in Iran through action on four fronts.

Iran's exports of mainly fuel and other energy products to the European Union in 2016 jumped 344 percent to 5.5 billion euros ($6.58 billion) compared with the previous year.


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