The EU May Bar Its Companies From Complying With US Sanctions On Iran

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The EU might use a blocking statute that would impose legal penalties on companies that comply with U.S. sanctions.

Following President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the Iran nuclear deal, the European Union is seeking ways to keep the agreement alive, and one option under consideration is legislation that would forbid the compliance of European companies with nuclear-related sanctions the U.S. places on Iran.

The bloc is looking for ways to keep alive the Iran nuclear deal, which aims to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb, after US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw from the agreement and reimpose sanctions on Iran, as well as companies doing business there.

The EU hopes Tehran will continue to comply with the agreement as long as it manages to preserve enough of the economic benefits promised in the deal.

European companies that defy the Trump administration’s sanctions would still face repercussions from the U.S., but implementing the blocking statute – initially devised to counter U.S. sanctions on Cuba, Iran and Libya in 1996 – would allow for compensation of losses or penalties.

"We notably discussed concrete practical solutions to make sure the EU can continue to live up to its commitments under the deal and protect our economic operations," said [Dimitris] Avramopoulos, the EU's migration commissioner.

"We did discuss the possibility of applying our blocking statute. We are ready to do so, if needed," he added.