Europe moves to protect its firms working in Iran from U.S. sanctions

Europe moves to protect its firms working in Iran from U.S. sanctions

As the world seeks to come to grips with President Trump's withdrawal from the JCPOA, it appears that the European Union will play one of its strongest cards by invoking its "Blocking Regulation", which would prohibit European companies from complying with USA sanctions against Iran.

Jean Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said on Thursday the commission has a "duty to protect European companies" from American sanctions.

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.

The French president said that "the European Union made a decision to preserve the nuclear deal and defend EU companies" adding that "our main interest in Iran is not in trade, but in ensuring stability in the region, at the same time, we will not become an ally of Iran against the U.S.".

U.S. President Donald Trump declared last week that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, claiming that it had failed to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons or supporting terrorism in the region. It is about stability, it is about favoring an opening of Iranian society.

Historic deal on Iran's nuclear program from 2015 provides for the removal of sanctions against Iran in exchange for limiting its opportunities for the enrichment and storage of nuclear materials. "We have opted to support it whatever the USA decides to do", said the French president on arrival at the Sofia summit.

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"We're not going to force French businesses to stay in Iran".

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

The statute is a 1996 regulation that forbids companies in the European Union from going along with foreign sanctions.

The European Union is trying to find ways to keep Iran in the 2015 accord by safeguarding the economic benefits Tehran gained in return for giving up its nuclear programme, after U.S. President Donald J. Trump abruptly pulled out of the deal.

But the most accurate observations by Macron was that Trump's Iran decision strengthens both Russian Federation and China in the region, something we pointed out weeks ago, begging the question whose interests is Trump representing.

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