The EU has put itself on a collision course with the US over Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran, as major European firms started to pull out of the country to avoid being hit by sanctions.
In an attempt to shield EU companies doing business with Iran, the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said he would turn to a plan last used to protect businesses working in Cuba before a US trade embargo was lifted on the Latin American country.
“We will begin the ‘blocking statute’ process, which aims to neutralise the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions in the EU. We must do it and we will do it tomorrow [Friday] morning at 10.30,” he said at the end of a summit in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia.
The EU is seeking to keep Iran in the 2015 accord by safeguarding the economic benefits Tehran gained in return for giving up its nuclear programme.
The “blocking statute” is a 1996 regulation that prohibits EU companies and courts from complying with foreign sanctions laws and stipulates that no foreign court judgments based on these laws have any effect in the EU. [Continue reading…]