EU takes steps to protect European companies investing in Iran

EU takes steps to protect European companies investing in Iran

The EU said Thursday it will begin moves to block the effect of United States sanctions on Iran as efforts to preserve the nuclear deal with Tehran deepened a transatlantic rift.The decision came as Russian Federation and China took some of their most concrete moves yet to extend their economic influence in Iran, in the face of renewed USA efforts to choke off Tehran. We will do that tomorrow morning at 1030.

On other fronts, the commission moved Friday to remove hurdles for the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance activities outside the EU, such as in Iran.

The European Commissioner for Energy, Miguel Arias Canete, is expected on Friday in Tehran, where he will meet for three days with Iranian officials.

"The EU blocking regulation could be of limited effectiveness there, given the worldwide nature of banking system and especially the exposure of large systemic banks to USA financial system and US dollar transactions", he said.

The measure potentially could put European companies in a bind, as they could be forced to choose between compliance with the EU measure and US secondary sanctions against Iran.

Following the lifting of sanctions imposed on Iran in 2016 caused by the implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), many European companies flocked to Iran for clinching several billion-euro worth of deal and seized this opportunity to play an active role in Iran's energy sector, he concluded.

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The commission said it hopes the statute will be in force before August 6 when the first batch of reimposed USA sanctions take effect.

Some of Europe's biggest firms had rushed to do business with Iran after the nuclear deal took effect.

"But the American sanctions will not be without effect".

Juncker's announcement comes after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the global deal with Iran, which placed limits on Tehran's nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that it might be possible to compensate small and medium-sized firms, but not all businesses, from U.S. sanctions. So we have the duty, the Commission and the European Union, to do what we can to protect our European businesses, especially SMEs.

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