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EU triggers legal effort to blunt US sanctions on Iran

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and ministry official Abbas Araghchi (from left to right) hold talks in Vienna aimed at saving the 2015 nuclear deal
HANS PUNZ (APA/AFP)

Legal measures by the European Union to blunt the impact of US President Donald Trump’s new sanctions on Iran will kick in Tuesday, the bloc has announced.

In May Trump effectively withdrew from the 2015 nuclear accord signed between world powers and Iran by announcing the phased reimposition of sanctions that were eased under the pact.

At midnight EST Tuesday the first wave of sanctions, including those on Iran’s central bank, precious minerals trade and automotive sectors will go into force, beginning an “economic pressure campaign” Washington hopes will force Iran into negotiations for a new agreement that will cover its nuclear, missile and regional military activities.

However the EU, which is itself a signatory to the nuclear deal along with member states the United Kingdom, France and Germany, has vowed to fight the US sanctions by enacting a “blocking statute” that will forbid EU citizens and companies from complying with them.

“We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran,” the European bloc said Monday, adding that it “deeply regret[s]” the decision to reimpose sanctions.  

“The JCPOA [nuclear deal] 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 said.

“Preserving the nuclear deal with Iran is a matter of respecting international agreements and a matter of international security,” the European statement added.

Nicholas Kamm, HO (AFP/File)

According to the EU, the blocking statute will allow EU citizens and businesses to “recover damages” from the US government and will nullify the impact in Europe of “foreign court rulings based on them.”

“It also forbids EU persons from complying with those sanctions, unless exceptionally authorized to do so by the Commission in case non-compliance seriously damages their interests or the interests of the Union,” an EU statement said.

Announcing the new wave of sanctions earlier Monday, Trump said he “remain[s] open to reaching a more comprehensive deal that addresses the full range of the regime’s malign activities."  

Iran's leaders have maintained that they will not enter into any new talks with the Trump administration.

Addressing the nation on Monday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani welcomed the EU’s efforts.

He accused the US of waging “psychological warfare” against Iran and said "negotiations with sanctions doesn't make sense. They are imposing sanctions on Iranian children, patients and the nation.”

US have acknowledged that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear accord, but accuse it of violating the spirit of the agreement through its deep support for Syrian President Bashar Al Assad in that country’s brutal civil war.

It also says Iranian leaders’ repeated threats to attack or destroy Israel and alleged backing of Yemen’s Huthi rebels need to be reined in under the aegis of a new agreement.

Read more:

China frustrates US efforts to end Iran’s oil exports: report

Comments

(1)

This is an example of prophecy becoming history. Note Psalm 83. Remember the modern Assyrians are the German-Austrians. WW3 wilk be started by them again.

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