21:15 GMT +320 March 2019
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    EU Commission Says Taking Steps to Preserve Interests of EU Companies in Iran

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    According to a statement issued by the European Commission on Friday, the commission will protect the interests of EU companies investing in Iran as part of the EU's continued commitment to the Iran Nuclear Deal.

    The Commission "launched the formal process to activate the Blocking Statute by updating the list of US sanctions on Iran falling within its scope," the statement reads further.

    READ MORE: EU May Use EIB to Help European Companies in Iran Amid US Sanctions — Belgian PM

    The Blocking Statute prohibits EU firms from adhering to the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions, allows companies to recover damages caused by such sanctions and neutralizes the effect in the European Union of any foreign court decisions related to the compliance with the restrictive measures, according to the EC.

    According to the statement, the measures will allow the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support EU investment in Iran and could be useful in particular for small and medium-sized companies.

    The European Commission also recommended EU states to consider one-off bank transfers to Iran’s Central Bank so that the local government was able to get oil-related revenues in case US sanctions targeted EU firms involved in oil transactions with Iran.

    The measures will come into force within two months unless the European Parliament and EU governments formally reject it.

    Earlier in the day, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced that the bloc planned to apply a 1996 law that would prohibit European companies from complying with any sanctions the US would reintroduce against Tehran.

    On May 8, US President Donald Trump announced that his country would exit the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Along with the withdrawal from the agreement, the United States restores all sanctions against the Middle Eastern country, including secondary ones in relation to other countries that conduct business with Iran, which were suspended in the framework of the JCPOA.

    Other signatories to the JCPOA have criticized Trump’s decision to unilaterally pull out of the deal.


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    sanctions, EU, European Commission, Iran
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