EU launches bid to save Iran nuclear deal

The European Union launches bid to save the Iran nuclear deal by blocking Trump’s sanctions on companies trading with Tehran

  • European Union has started process of renewing sanctions-blocking measure
  • Move comes after US President Donald Trump pulled out of Iran nuclear deal
  • US warned firms to stop doing trade with Iran or risk fines or other punishment

The European Union has launched a bid to save the Iran nuclear deal by blocking Donald Trump’s sanctions on companies trading with Tehran.

The European Commission, the bloc’s executive, said it had started the process of renewing a sanctions-blocking measure this morning. 

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 European Union has launched a bid to save the Iran nuclear deal by blocking Donald Trump’s (pictured) sanctions on companies trading with Tehran

The Commission said in a statement it had ‘launched the formal process to activate the Blocking Statute by updating the list of U.S. sanctions on Iran falling within its scope,’ referring to an EU regulation from 1996.

EU officials say they are revamping the blocking statute to encompass U.S. President Donald Trump’s May 8 decision to revive Iran-related sanctions, after the expiry of 90- and 180-day wind-down periods, including sanctions aimed at Iran’s lifeblood oil sector and transactions with its central bank.

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.

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

The EU’s blocking statute bans any EU company from complying with U.S. sanctions and does not recognise any court rulings that enforce American penalties. 

It was developed when the United States tried to penalise foreign companies trading with Cuba in the 1990s, but has never been formally implemented.

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. 

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