Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Rejecting Iran Sanctions, European Union Bans European Companies From Complying

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Sammy Stanley | 18 May, 2018, 13:41

Speaking at news conference after a meeting of EU leaders in Bulgaria, Juncker added that he "also made a decision to allow the European Investment Bank to facilitate European companies' investment in Iran".

At the Sofia summit, European Union leaders sought ways to ratchet down tensions over trade amid anger over Trump's decision to pull the US out of the Iran nuclear deal.

"It's Europe's economic sovereignty, and what we are demanding is that we are exempted without conditions or time limits", French President Emmanuel Macron said in Bulgaria, where European Union leaders have gathered for a summit with Balkans countries.

The E.U. will on Friday begin moves to block the effect of US sanctions on Iran in the bloc, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said, as part of efforts to preserve the nuclear deal with Tehran.

She also said that canceling the nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers would be wrong, adding that the us withdrawal from the deal was among several pieces of "troubling news" that had occurred recently.

"Europe must do everything in its power to protect, in spite of today's mood, the transatlantic bond". "But at the same time we must be prepared for scenarios where we'll have to act on our own".

Macron acknowledged the predicament of firms wanting to trade with Iran or invest there, especially multinationals with close business ties to the United States. Merkel, Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May were due to brief fellow leaders on Iran, after failing to persuade Trump to stick with the accord.

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The EU is to begin reviving legislation that will allow European companies to continue doing business with Iran, despite United States sanctions. The nuclear agreement of 2015 is an important element of peace and security in the region, and we chose to support it, whatever the USA decision was.

Still, EU leaders put on a fearless face, sticking by the Iran accord despite their weak hand in defying the will of the country that issues the dollar, the dominant currency of worldwide trade.

In an email interview, Thijs Van de Graaf, an assistant professor of global politics at Ghent University in Belgium, discusses the evolution of Iran's oil and gas sector since the JCPOA, and the implications of the reimposition of us sanctions for Iran and its partners.

"With the sanctions the Americans are to impose, you can't do business in Iran if you also have business in the USA, and we have that on a large scale", Skou told Reuters.

Juncker said the European Commission has chose to allow the European Investment Bank to facilitate European companies' investment in Iran for the first time.

"During the meeting, Mr. Khoshrou conveyed Mr. Zarif's message that Iran hopes China will maintain the levels of imports", said one person briefed on the meetings. "The deal is dead".

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