European Union moves to block USA sanctions on Iran

18 May, 2018, 15:43 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini take part in meeting with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad

The European Commission has begun work to implement a law which prohibits European companies from adhering to USA sanctions against Iran, a move to help keep the Iran nuclear agreement intact and to defend European corporate interests.

What is the blocking statute?

The European Commission will initiate a blocking statute - a regulation which was created in 1996 to get around Washington's trade embargo on Cuba.

Why is the United States imposing sanctions on Iran?

The measure prevents firms from complying with non-EU sanctions laws and stops foreign court judgments based on these laws from being effective in the EU.

The statute prohibits European Union companies and courts from complying with specific foreign sanctions laws and says no foreign court judgments based on these laws have any effect in the EU.

Why does the European Union want to do this?

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.

US President pulled out of the Iran nuclear accord and gave businesses around the world notice to end their dealings with Tehran.

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

It will prohibit European companies from complying with the penalties and permit compensation for affected firms.

The European Commission said Friday it is taking steps to shield EU companies doing business in Iran after the USA government abandoned an global nuclear deal and warned that it could impose sanctions on companies trading with Tehran.

The Commission said the EU measure would come into force within two months, unless the European Parliament and EU governments formally rejected it, but that it could also be activated sooner if there was strong political support.

"But the American sanctions will not be without effect".

Privately, some European leaders acknowledge the scope for effective action is limited.

Where do Europe's leaders stand?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that it might be possible to compensate small and medium-sized firms, but not all businesses, from USA sanctions.

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