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EU Commission launches measures to protect EU business in Iran
18 May 2018, 02:51 | Marta Robbins
Europe to exempt its firms from US sanctions on Iran
The European Commission said on Friday that it had "launched the formal process to activate the Blocking Statute by updating the list of United States sanctions on Iran falling within its scope". The European Commission on Friday passed the first package of measures on protecting the interests of EU companies investing in Iran from United States sanctions, nullifying them on the EU territory, the official statement said. It has also facilitated the ability of the European Investment Bank to support investment in small and medium-sized enterprises in Iran. So we have the duty, the Commission and the European Union, to do what we can to protect our European businesses, especially SMEs, " added Juncker.
The US will re-impose economic sanctions on Iran and has warned that these sanctions could also apply to countries which continue to deal with the country, demanding EU action to protect European companies investing in Iran. In particular, both sides have discussed how to keep revenue flowing into Iran in light of pending sanctions. "The hardliners in Iran were the most opposed to this accord".
Moreover, the Europeans' commitment to the nuclear deal may come with strings attached, including their demands that Iran restrict its missile capabilities as well as its role in the Middle East.
A blocking statute is a law enacted in a local jurisdiction that attempts to hinder the application of a law made by a foreign jurisdiction and is widely seen as an attempt to put pressure on Washington not to punish European firms that continue doing business with Iran.
"We're not going to force French businesses to stay in Iran. They should continue to have this freedom", he added, making it clear that European companies will not be subject to U.S. sanctions, even if that decision is ultimately up to the US.
Mr. Trump's Iran decision is part of a broader pattern of actions that have deeply frustrated America's European allies.
But companies around the world which invested in Iran after sanctions were lifted are now faced with a hard choice as Washington has threatened to punish firms that violate US sanctions by dealing with Tehran.
USA sanctions must be reinstated within 90 to 180 days. Please donate or subscribe to help fund independent journalism for the Iranian Diaspora.
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