European Union considers little-used statute to block United States sanctions over Iran

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The European Commission said Friday it is taking steps to shield EU companies doing business in Iran after the USA government abandoned an global nuclear deal and warned that it could impose sanctions on companies trading with Tehran.

US President Donald Trump last week controversially pulled Washington out of the 2015 worldwide deal with Iran that placed limits on its nuclear programme in return for easing economic sanctions.

In addition, Jean-Claude Juncker noted that EU leaders had "also chose to allow the European Investment Bank to facilitate European companies' investment in Iran" and that the European Commission would continue to cooperate with Iran.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday that one reason for the efforts to prop up the Iran deal is "so that our businesses can remain" in Iran.The EU leaders pledged at the meeting to keep a united front against Trump, whose decisions to pull out of the Iran deal and to impose trade tariffs on Europe have triggered the worst transatlantic crisis since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.EU President Donald Tusk renewed attacks on Trump at the summit Thursday, suggesting that the USA administration was now as unpredictable as Iran's regime.

Also, EC has chose to allow European Investment Bank to facilitate investment of European companies in the Islamic Republic of Iran, he maintained.

The "blocking statute" dates from 1996 and was created to defend companies working in Cuba from the effects of a USA trade embargo.

Israeli, Palestinian Envoys In Angry Exchanges At UN Security Council
But in the wake of Monday's deadly violence, they morphed into demonstrations against Israel's excessive use of force. The statement said that Ireland was also "very disturbed" by reports of injuries suffered by health workers.

EU leaders meeting Thursday in Bulgaria gave the European Commmission, the bloc's executive arm, the all-clear amid a deepening rift with Washington.

It remains to be seen exactly how the European Union will activate the Blocking Regulation.

In a clear response to the United States move, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has announced that the bloc plans to apply a 1996 law that would prohibit European companies from complying with any sanctions the U.S. will reintroduce against Tehran, Deutsche Welle reported. The Commission itself will maintain its cooperation with Iran.

It said the move will "allow the EIB to support European Union investment in Iran", particularly involving small and medium-sized companies.

The other signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran have pledged to stick to its terms and urged Tehran to do the same. Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete will travel to Tehran this weekend.

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