Alwaght- The European Union announced on Monday enforcing Blocking Statute to protect its companies' "legitimate business with Iran from the impact of US extra-territorial sanctions".
EU's High Representative Federica Mogherin and foreign ministers of the UK, Germany and France issued a joint statement on the looming re-imposition of US sanctions against Iran, saying the EU's updated Blocking Statute will enter into force since 7 August it is "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 first round of renewed US sanctions will take effect on Tuesday after midnight US Eastern time, that target Iran's automotive sector as well as gold and other metals. More sanctions on Iran's oil sector and central bank is expected to return on 4 November. Washington is reinstating sanctions that were lifted against Iran after unilaterally withdrawing from the historic nuclear deal reached with Tehran, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
"The JCPOA is working and delivering on its goal, namely to ensure that the Iranian programme 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 statement reads.
The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on curtailing Tehran’s nuclear program was signed by Iran, the US, Russia, China and the European Union. The move by Washington to withdraw from the nuclear agreement has been widely condemned by the EU and other signatories of the deal.
"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 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," The European Commission emphasized.
Brussels announced back in May that it would enable the Blocking Statute starting from August. The law was first adopted in 1996 and forbids EU companies from complying with the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions. It allows companies to recover damages arising from such sanctions, and nullifies the effect in the EU of any foreign court judgements based on them.
The Europeans are “committed to work on … the preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran, and the continuation of Iran's export of oil and gas,” the EC added.
The bloc said that maintaining the nuclear deal with Iran is a “matter of respecting international agreements and a matter of international security".