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European Union to Move Friday to Block US Sanctions on Iran

European Union to Move Friday to Block US Sanctions on Iran

"US sanctions will not be without effect, so it is our duty, in the Commission and in the European Union, to do what we can to protect our European businesses, especially SMEs", said Friday. the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

As the world seeks to come to grips with President Trump's withdrawal from the JCPOA, it appears that the European Union will play one of its strongest cards by invoking its "Blocking Regulation", which would prohibit European companies from complying with USA sanctions against Iran.

The Commission said the measure would come into force within two months, unless the European Parliament and EU governments formally rejected it, but that it could also be activated sooner if there was strong political support, Reuters reported.

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.

The EU decision will allow the European companies to ignore the United States sanctions against Tehran.

The European Commission, the bloc's executive, said it had started the process of renewing a sanctions-blocking measure this morning.

"We must act now" - quoted Juncker DW.

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It will prohibit European companies from complying with the penalties and permit compensation for affected firms.

The "blocking statute" is a 1996 regulation originally created to get around Washington's trade embargo on Cuba. By re-introducing it now, the European Union is seeking to ban firms respecting USA sanctions and make related U.S. court rulings non-effective in the EU.

The step comes after Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif traveled to Brussels and met with his British, French and German counterparts to discuss the future of the nuclear deal without the US.

Mr. Trump's Iran decision is part of a broader pattern of actions that have deeply frustrated America's European allies.

Much to Europe's displeasure, foreign companies doing business with Iran are also at the crosshairs of the USA sanctions.

The EU needs to safeguard Iran's economic benefits as well as its own, in order to keep Tehran in the 2015 worldwide nuclear deal and prevent its collapse.