Europe defies US, vows to protect firms against Iran sanctions
Iran Press TV
Mon Aug 6, 2018 01:34PM
As the United States is preparing to restore sanctions against Iran, Europe says it would act to protect its companies that do business with Iran against Washington's potential punitive measures.
The announcement – which could be a strong expression of defiance against the hostile agenda of US President Donald Trump against Tehran – was made by the European Commission.
The Commission announced in a statement that it would activate an EU law that would shield European companies that have business ties with Iran from US sanctions on Tuesday (August 7).
The law or the so-called blocking statute would comprise a set of protective measures and would be the most powerful tool at EU's immediate disposal because it would ban any European company from complying with US sanctions and would not recognize any court rulings that would enforce American penalties, according to media reports.
Europe had previously voiced opposition against restoring sanctions against Iran arguing that the Islamic Republic should not be punished as it is has been so far doing its share of the 2015 nuclear deal that had led to the removal of the sanctions.
Trump's administration – that would restore sanctions against Iran on Tuesday (August 7) - is largely believed to be already facing a host of challenges in its anti-Iran push.
Apart from opposition from Europe, countries like Turkey, China and India have already made it clear they would not abide by the sanctions against Iran.
"The lifting of nuclear-related sanctions is an essential part of the deal – it aims at having a positive impact not only on trade and economic relations with Iran, but most importantly on the lives of the Iranian people," the European Commission said in its 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."
Brussels had earlier announced that it would enable the Blocking Statute starting from August. The law was first adopted in 1996 and forbids EU companies from complying with the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions. It allows companies to recover damages arising from such sanctions, and nullifies the effect in the EU of any foreign court judgments based on them, according to a report by Reuters.
The Europeans are "committed to work on … the preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran, and the continuation of Iran's export of oil and gas," the statement by the European Commission further added.
The bloc said that maintaining the nuclear deal with Iran is a "matter of respecting international agreements and a matter of international security."
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