EU Commission launches measures to protect EU business in Iran

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In addition, Jean-Claude Juncker noted that EU leaders had "also chose to allow the European Investment Bank to facilitate European companies' investment in Iran" and that the European Commission would continue to cooperate with Iran.

The so-called "blocking statute" was introduced in 1996 to circumvent USA sanctions on Cuba but was never used. We will do that tomorrow morning at 1030.

In a Friday statement, the Commission also said it "will continue and strengthen the ongoing sectoral cooperation with, and assistance to, Iran, including in the energy sector and with regard to small and medium-sized companies".

"The EU blocking regulation could be of limited effectiveness there, given the worldwide nature of banking system and especially the exposure of large systemic banks to USA financial system and US dollar transactions", he said.

The EU has officially adopted measures to protect European companies working in Iran if the USA reimposes sanctions against Tehran.

"In Sofia, we saw a show of European unity".

Some of Europe's biggest firms had rushed to do business with Iran after the nuclear deal took effect.

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The EU executive's announcement is in line with the decision made by heads of state and government at their informal summit in Bulgaria on Thursday in response to the reinstatement of US sanctions related to the withdrawal of the US July 2015 on the Iranian nuclear program, announced on May 8 by Donald Trump.

"But the American sanctions will not be without effect".

And, in a bid to reassure the Iranian government of the EU's political commitment to saving the nuclear deal, Energy Commissioner Miguel Canete is visiting Tehran this weekend. European companies have signed a number of multi-billion euro deals in the country since the sanctions were lifted.

It said the move will "allow the EIB to support European Union investment in Iran", particularly involving small and medium-sized companies.

The US Treasury has said it is giving European companies three to six months to wind down their business in Iran or face sanctions as well.

Boris Johnson said this week that it is right to "protect legitimate United Kingdom and European businesses, who may want to trade with Iran, who do want to trade with Iran, and who have great plans to do that".

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