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EU protecting its companies in Iran

Tehran, The EU is taking steps to protect European companies investing in Iran against the renewed US sanctions on Tehran after US President Donald Trump decided to unilaterally withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal late last month.

'The European Commission said it has adopted an update of the Blocking Statute and of the European Investment Bank (EIB)'s External Lending Mandate. The move follows up on the informal Leaders' Meeting in Sofia, as well as the Commission's announcements of May 18,' wrote New Europe website on Monday.

These measures are meant to help in protecting the interests of EU companies investing in Iran and to demonstrate the EU's commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Commission said in a press release.

Through the update of the Blocking Statute, the extraterritorial sanctions that the United States will re-impose on Iran are added to its scope, while the update of the EIB's External Lending Mandate would make Iran eligible for investment activities by the EIB, the European Commission said on June 6, adding that this enabling measure does not however commit the EIB to actually support projects in Iran as it remains for the EIB's governing bodies to decide to take up such financing activities � in line with relevant rules and procedures.

Following the adoption on June 6, the European Parliament and the Council will have a period of two months to object to these measures before they enter into force. If no objection is raised, the updated acts will be published and will enter into force at the latest at the beginning of August, by the time the first batch of re-imposed US sanctions will take effect, the Commission said.

The European Union is fully committed to the continued, full, and effective implementation of the JCPOA, so long as Iran also respects its obligations. At the same time, the European Union is also committed to maintaining cooperation with the United States, who remains a key partner and ally, the Commission said.

According to the New York Times, in a letter sent on June 4 to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, EU leaders cited security interests in requesting that companies in Europe be granted an exemption from renewed US sanctions against Iran.

In their current state, US secondary sanctions could prevent the European Union from continuing meaningful sanctions relief to Iran, said the letter, signed by the finance and foreign ministers of Britain, France, and Germany and EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini.

The EU has criticized Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran deal and have tried to work with the US State Department to find a solution for the European companies working in Iran, wrote New Europe.

Given the announcement of new US sanctions, Total said it will not be in a position to continue the SP11 project and will have to unwind all related operations before November 4 unless Total is granted a specific project waiver by the US authorities with the support of the French and European authorities. This project waiver should include protection of Total from any secondary sanction as per US legislation.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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