Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

European Union moves to block U.S. sanctions on Iran

European Union moves to block U.S. sanctions on Iran

So we have the duty, the Commission and the European Union, to do what we can to protect our European businesses, especially SMEs, " added Juncker.

The US will re-impose economic sanctions on Iran and has warned that these sanctions could also apply to countries which continue to deal with the country, demanding EU action to protect European companies investing in Iran.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker described the meeting of leaders in Sofia as a show of unity among member states, and emphasised that the EU has a responsibility towards both the JCPoA and the European businesses that will be affected in the wake of new U.S. sanctions.

The two sides agreed to find solutions over the coming weeks.

In recent days, several European companies have announced their intention to wind down business in Iran, raising questions about how much the EU can deliver on its promises. He will meet ministers from the petroleum and energy departments and well as foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on a three day visit to the capital.

"We are on the right track. a lot will depend on what we can do in next few weeks".

The talks in Tehran come a day after the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker deepened Europe's war of words with the USA over Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and proposed tariffs on European goods. "We can not and must not create illusions", she said.

The nuclear deal removed most worldwide sanctions in 2016 in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme. The decision follows US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the treaty- and penalise companies that carry on doing business with Iran.

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European powers share Trump's concerns about shortcomings in the deal but view it as the best way to prevent Tehran from obtaining an atomic weapon.

The statute prohibits European Union companies and courts from complying with specific foreign sanctions laws and says no foreign court judgments based on these laws have any effect in the EU.

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.

Moreover, the Europeans' commitment to the nuclear deal may come with strings attached, including their demands that Iran restrict its missile capabilities as well as its role in the Middle East.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that it might be possible to compensate small and medium-sized firms, but not all businesses, from USA sanctions.

"In Sofia, we saw a show of European unity". Companies are concerned Iranian ties could incur penalties from the US.

"Guarantees of benefits of the JCPOA should be given to Iran".

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