EU Offers Package to Counter New US Sanctions on Iran
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The EU announced a package of measures on Friday to counter US sanctions against Iran, a report said.
The plans unveiled by the European Commission include enabling its member states to make direct payments for oil to Iran’s central bank and the revival of a 1990s era “blocking statute” to allow companies to ignore US sanctions without fear of punishment in Europe, The Economic Times
The EU’s moves defy US wishes for it to comply with Washington’s relaunch of measures against Iran after Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers last week.
“As long as the Iranians respect their commitments, the EU will, of course, stick to the agreement of which it was an architect,” said Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission president.
“But the American sanctions will not be without effect. So we have the duty, the commission and the European Union, to do what we can to protect our European businesses, especially SMEs (The category of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises).”
The European Commission said it was encouraging the EU’s 28 members to “explore the possibility of one-off bank transfers to the Central Bank of Iran”.
This could enable Tehran to receive oil-related revenues, particularly if US sanctions targeted EU entities active in oil transactions with Iran, it added.
The blocking statute — which will be based on a 1996 measure developed in response to US sanctions on Iran, Libya and Cuba — will forbid EU companies from complying with the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions, the commission said.
It will stop EU courts enforcing US sanctions judgments and will also allow companies to recover “damages arising from such sanctions from the person causing them”.
The commission will also push ahead with measures aimed mainly at supporting small and medium-sized companies, including freeing up the European Investment Bank to offer euro credit lines to avoid sanctions on the dollar.
US sanctions are due to reactivate 90 or 180 days after Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.