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EU Enforces Blocking Statute, Vows to Fight for Nuclear Deal

European countries say they 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"
EU Enforces Blocking Statute, Vows to Fight for Nuclear DealEU Enforces Blocking Statute, Vows to Fight for Nuclear Deal

European leaders said Monday that they were working to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran despite renewed US sanctions against Tehran as the European Commission brought into enforce  a so-called blocking statute that allows EU operators to recover damages arising from US extraterritorial sanctions.

Sanctions by the US came back into force on Monday, as a consequence of US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the deal.

In a joint statement, the European guarantors of the Iran nuclear accord, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), made clear they were actively working to thwart the US sanctions, the official website of the European Union reported.

***Deep Regret

“We deeply regret the reimposition of sanctions by the US, due to the latter’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, said in the statement, also signed by the foreign ministers Jean-Yves Le Drian of France, Heiko Maas of Germany, and Jeremy Hunt of the United Kingdom.

“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,” they said.

“It is a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, crucial for the security of Europe, the region, and the entire world,” the statement said.

The statement says European countries have pledged to keep the deal alive, committing to work on "the preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran, and the continuation of Iran's export of oil and gas." 

***Legitimate Business 

“We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran, … 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 divide between Europe and Washington over the Iran deal is the clearest—and perhaps most consequential—example of the deteriorated relationship between the US and its traditional allies as a result of Trump’s foreign policy decisions. 

Trump has also driven a wedge between the US and Europe by setting off a global trade war, pulling out of the Paris climate change accord, and moving the US embassy in Israel to Beit-ul-Moqaddas .

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