EU Blocks Trump’s Iran Sanctions To Protect Companies Hours Ahead Of Snapback
The European Union issued a statement Monday ahead of when renewed US sanctions are set to snap back against Iran after midnight US Eastern time, saying it “deeply regrets” the sanctions and will take immediate action to protect European companies still doing business with Iran.
The statement by EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany pledged to also work to keep “effective financial channels” open with Iran. “We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the US, due to the latter’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” the statement issued from Brussels begins.
The US has ordered all other countries to halt imports of Iranian oil by early November or face punitive measures. In a statement on Sunday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the White House will detail implementation of the measures sometime Monday morning.
As expected after the Trump administration was unmoved by European leaders’ calls for an exemption, the EU will seek legal protection for firms in the 28-nation bloc to work with Iran by invoking its so-called blocking statute, considered the most powerful tool at its immediate disposal. When invoked, it bans any EU company from complying with US sanctions and does not recognize any foreign court rulings seeking to enforce American penalties.
According to the statement:
We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran, in accordance with EU law and with UN Security Council resolution 2231. This is why the European Union’s updated Blocking Statute enters into force on 7 August to protect EU companies doing legitimate business with Iran from the impact of US extra-territorial sanctions.
The EU also restated its commitment to upholding the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), calling the 2015 brokered agreement “a matter of international security”:
The remaining parties
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