Sunday, 23 September, 2018

European Union unveils 'statute' to protect Iran trade against U.S. sanctions

European Investment Bank Luxembourg CC BY-SA 3.0 Palauenc05 European Investment Bank LuxembourgEU May Use EIB to Help European Companies in Iran Amid US Sanctions- Belgian PM
| 18 May, 2018, 16:21

The European Commission has acted on four fronts.

European Union officials say they are revamping the blocking statute to encompass U.S. President Donald Trump's May 8 decision to revive Iran-related sanctions, after the expiry of 90- and 180-day wind-down periods, including sanctions aimed at Iran's lifeblood oil sector and transactions with its central bank.

Other measures proposed by the Commission, the EU executive, include urging EU governments to make transfers to Iran's central bank and to start the legal process of allowing the European Investment Bank to lend to EU projects in Iran. Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete will travel to Tehran this weekend.

The commission also wants to enable the European Investment Bank to finance activities in Iran, noting that this would be particularly useful for smaller firms.

"As long as the Iranians respect their commitments, the EU will of course stick to the agreement of which it was an architect", said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, while warning that the United States decision to reimpose sanctions "will not be without effect". According to European sources, this measure may become the EU's first step towards ditching dollar in trade with Iran.


Following last week's announcement by US President Donald Trump, the European Union has pledged to stick to the 2015 deal, which is meant to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons in return for the lifting of sanctions that had stifled its economy.

Earlier this month, the United States announced its intention to withdraw from the JCPoA, an agreement which prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for greater participation in the global economy.

"The objective of my visit is to continue to strengthen energy relations with Iran, most importantly now against this new challenging background of president Trump's announcement", Cañete said in a statement on Friday. Meanwhile, Washington put forward demands, which can not be implemented.

"But we still think that, with the agreement, we would have better pre-conditions to speak with Iran about further agreements than by unilaterally cancelling an agreement that was unanimously approved and endorsed in the UN Security Council", she added. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran would not abandon the JCPOA and would continue to comply with its obligations.

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