Clashing With Trump, EU Tries to Blunt US Sanctions on Iran

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The European Commission says it has launched "the blocking statute" process to protect Europeans from USA sanctions on Iran as part of efforts to preserve the nuclear deal with Tehran. Even as the summit meeting was underway, more big European-based companies signaled they would have to quit doing business with Iran to avoid running afoul of the American sanctions.

The president decided that he would withdraw the USA from the accord, which he referred to as "flawed", thereby raising the specter of renewed sanctions against companies that do business with Iran.

In Berlin, the president of the German Industry Federation (BDI), Dieter Kempf, expressed concern on Friday about the impact that these European protection measures could have on German companies in the United States.

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The EU's blocking statute bans any EU company from complying with US sanctions and does not recognise any court rulings that enforce American penalties. In particular, both sides have discussed how to keep revenue flowing into Iran in light of pending sanctions.

U.S. President Donald Trump declared last week that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, claiming that it had failed to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons or supporting terrorism in the region.

"We've had a vibrant discussion on Iran".

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What did President Trump decide to do?

The other signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran have pledged to stick to its terms and urged Tehran to do the same. "This approach could help the Iranian authorities to receive their oil-related revenues, particularly in case of U.S. sanctions which could target European Union entities active in oil transactions with Iran", the document says. "They should continue to have this freedom", he added, making it clear that European companies will not be subject to USA sanctions, even if that decision is ultimately up to the US.

Why is the U.S. imposing sanctions on Iran?

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Mr. Trump's Iran decision is part of a broader pattern of actions that have deeply frustrated America's European allies. "But the American sanctions will not be without effect, so we have the duty... to do what we can to protect our European businesses, especially SMEs". Stories like this are made possible by readers like you.

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