EU Commission takes steps to protect EU business in Iran

18 May, 2018, 16:17 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Macron U.S. exit from JCPOA to benefit Russia and China

The measures come days after EU-Iran talks over how to take the nuclear deal out of "intensive care", which were attended by UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

The EU wants to salvage the nuclear deal and its blocking statute is the most powerful tool at its immediate disposal, as it means EU companies won't have to comply with United States sanctions.

The European Union and Iran have launched a vigorous campaign to safeguard the 2015 nuclear deal that the United States has recently ditched by trying to keep Iran's oil and investment flowing.

The Blocking Statute forbids European Union companies from complying with the extraterritorial effects of USA sanctions, allows companies to recover damages arising from such sanctions, and nullifies the effect in the European Union of any foreign court judgements based on them.

The European Commission, the EU executive, said it "launched the formal process to activate the Blocking Statute by updating the list of USA sanctions on Iran falling within its scope".

The European Commission, the bloc's executive, said it had started the process of renewing a sanctions-blocking measure this morning. By re-introducing it now, the European Union is seeking to ban firms respecting U.S. sanctions and make related USA court rulings non-effective in the EU.

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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.

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

"The American sanctions will not be without effect".

US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington quit the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, which curbed Tehran's nuclear activity in exchange for lifting the UN Security Council's sanctions and unilateral restrictions introduced by the US and the EU. "We will have to see whether those remaining in the JCPOA can deliver those benefits to Iran", he said in the Belgian capital on Tuesday.

In addition, Jean-Claude Juncker noted that EU leaders had "also made a decision to allow the European Investment Bank to facilitate European companies' investment in Iran" and that the European Commission would continue to cooperate with Iran. It has also facilitated the ability of the European Investment Bank to support investment in small and medium-sized enterprises in Iran.

On Friday, European commissioner for climate change and energy Miguel Arias Cañete flew to Iran.

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