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EU issues legal support for companies active in Iran

Tehran, EU countries gave European firms legal cover to operate in Iran despite the US pullout from the nuclear deal reached between Iran and the world powers.

'Today, the (European) Council has endorsed the update of the blocking statute annex on the nuclear deal with Iran,' Federica Mogherini told reporters in Brussels at a meeting with the EU foreign ministers.

She said the European Parliament gave its consent to the statute two weeks ago, AFP reported.

The 'blocking statute' forbids the EU firms from complying with US sanctions, allowing them to recover damages from such penalties and nullifying any foreign court rulings against them.

The EU vowed to fight to preserve the Iran nuclear deal after the US withdrawal.

The blocking statute is due to enter force on August 6, when the first set of US sanctions are due. The second set is due November 4, just before US legislative elections.

The move came as the Financial Times reported that the Trump administration has rejected an EU call for an exemption from US sanctions on companies operating in Iran.

Mogherini conceded it will be a tough battle to preserve the Iran nuclear agreement, which US President Donald Trump's predecessor Barack Obama sealed with Iran along with Britain, France and Germany as well as Russia and China.

Mogherini said the EU and other parties were 'determined to preserve this deal' she called vital to European, Middle Eastern and global security.

'We will continue to do all we can to try and prevent this deal from being dismantled because we believe the consequences of this would be catastrophic for all.'

Mogherini added she was not sure the 'efforts are going to be enough'.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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