European foreign affairs chiefs have pledged to protect firms against the impact of US sanctions for doing business with Iran. An EU “blocking statute” took effect on Tuesday to nullify US legal action against European firms in connection with Iran.
A joint statement from EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of France , Germany and the UK, says the nuclear deal - or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - is crucial for global security.
We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran, in accordance with EU law and with UN Security Council resolution 2231, the statement says.
A blocking statute enables EU-based firms to recover damages resulting from the US sanctions. It will also ban EU businesses from complying with those US sanctions, unless they get exceptional authorization from the European Commission.
Joint statement by High Representative Federica Mogherini and Foreign Ministers of E3 (Jean-Yves Le Drian of France, Heiko Maas of Germany and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt):
”We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the US, due to the latter’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
”The JCPOA is working and delivering on its goal, namely to ensure that the Iranian program remains exclusively peaceful, as confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 11 consecutive reports. It is a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, crucial for the security of Europe, the region, and the entire world. We expect Iran to continue to fully implement all its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA.
The lifting of nuclear-related sanctions is an essential part of the deal – it aims at having a positive impact not only on trade and economic relations with Iran, but most importantly on the lives of the Iranian people. We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran, in accordance with EU law and with UN Security Council resolution 2231. This is why the European Union’s updated Blocking Statute enters into force on 7 August to protect EU companies doing legitimate business with Iran from the impact of US extra-territorial sanctions.
The remaining parties to the JCPOA have committed to work on, inter alia, the preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran, and the continuation of Iran’s export of oil and gas. On these, as on other topics, our work continues, including with third countries interested in supporting the JCPOA and maintaining economic relations with Iran. These efforts will be intensified and reviewed at Ministerial level in the coming weeks.
Preserving the nuclear deal with Iran is a matter of respecting international agreements and a matter of international security.