EU Blocks Trump’s Iran Sanctions To Protect Companies Hours Ahead Of Snapback

The European Union issued a statement Monday ahead of when renewed US sanctions are set to snap back against Iran after midnight US Eastern time, saying it "deeply regrets" the sanctions and will take immediate action to protect European companies still doing business with Iran.

Image source: ATR

The statement by EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany pledged to also work to keep "effective financial channels" open with Iran. "We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the US, due to the latter's withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)," the statement issued from Brussels begins.

The US has ordered all other countries to halt imports of Iranian oil by early November or face punitive measures. In a statement on Sunday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the White House will detail implementation of the measures sometime Monday morning. 

As expected after the Trump administration was unmoved by European leaders' calls for an exemption, the EU will seek legal protection for firms in the 28-nation bloc to work with Iran by invoking its so-called blocking statute, considered the most powerful tool at its immediate disposal. When invoked, it bans any EU company from complying with US sanctions and does not recognize any foreign court rulings seeking to enforce American penalties.

According to the statement:

We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran, in accordance with EU law and with UN Security Council resolution 2231. 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 EU also restated its commitment to upholding the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), calling the 2015 brokered agreement "a matter of international security":

The remaining parties to the JCPOA have committed to work on, inter alia, the preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran, and the continuation of Iran's export of oil and gas

At the end of the day Monday, the following sanctions will be re-imposed according to a US Treasury Department official statement:

“Sanctions on the purchase or acquisition of US dollar bank notes by the Government of Iran; sanctions on Iran’s trade in gold or precious metals; sanctions on the direct or indirect sale, supply, or transfer to or from Iran of graphite, raw, or semi-finished metals such as aluminum and steel, coal, and software for integrating industrial processes; sanctions on significant transactions related to the purchase or sale of Iranian rials, or the maintenance of significant funds or accounts outside the territory of Iran denominated in the Iranian rial; sanctions on the purchase, subscription to, or facilitation of the issuance of Iranian sovereign debt; sanctions on Iran’s automotive sector.” 

Furthermore, according to the US Treasury, this includes a ban on Iranian-origin carpets and foodstuffs, and notably export or re-export commercial airplanes as well as services and parts.

It is unclear if the EU blocking statute will have any significant impact beyond being used as sending a strong political message. 

First adopted in 1996, the blocking statute bans EU companies from complying with the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions, allowing them to recover damages arising from such sanctions, and declares null any foreign court proceedings seeking to impose penalties among EU countries.

Reuters explained in May after President Trump formally pulled the United States from the JCPOA that "it has never been used and is seen by European governments more as a political weapon than a regulation because its rules are vague and difficult to enforce, serving mainly as a warning to the United States."

And further that, "The international reach of the U.S. financial system and the U.S. presence of many European companies also raise questions about its effectiveness."

But perhaps the real question remains whether or not Iran's economy will weather the storm, which could ultimately become to catalyst for European companies severing relations. 



philipat Mister Ponzi Mon, 08/06/2018 - 10:04 Permalink

I HOPE that Europe has finally grown a pair and begun to stand up for its own best interests as opposed to those of the US. And if the US wants to bring the troops back home from Europe, then good for Trump and good for Europe. It all makes another small move towards a multilateral world in which Washington can no longer tell the rest of the world what to do.

And specifically in the case of Iran, which, like Russia, represents no threat to anyone, Europe has enormous business opportunities for investments. Airbus immediately comes to mind, just like in China and Russia also.

In reply to by Mister Ponzi

wildbad Mustahattu Mon, 08/06/2018 - 10:22 Permalink

The €U misleaders simply do not DARE to cross the mullahs of Iran since said Mullahs threatened to name names about which €U misleaders were bribed with Obama's billions.

BTW the "Iran Nuclear Deal" remains unsigned and had nothing at all to do with Nuclear energy.

All about german and french industry getting a foothold and filling the pockets of the mullahs and their proxies

In reply to by Mustahattu

el buitre wildbad Mon, 08/06/2018 - 11:25 Permalink

Of course the JCPOA has nothing to do with an Iranian nuclear weapons program for the simple reason that Iran has never had any intension to build or deploy nuclear weapons.  Whether that will continue into the future still remains to be seen.  When one realizes this, then one obviously realizes that the Ziocons, of which Trump is obviously one, at least in relationship to apartheid in Israel and attempting to crush Iran, used the bogus nuclear issue as a pretext for getting the rest of the planet to go along with its economic warfare.  Trump's isolationist plan toward Iran and Russia will only succeed in further isolating the USA politically, push Germany toward Russia faster, and weaken the USD as the reserve currency.  I support Trump in this respect, because these are outcomes I approve of.  However, I do not think that Trump is playing 5D chess, but rather simply a pawn of the Ziocons.  I also believe that Q Anus is a sophisticated Mossad psy-ops as a limited hang-out.  They are evil but not stupid, at least tactically if not strategically.  The one wonderful thing about the Ziocons is that when they make a major geopolitical blunder, their only strategy is to double down.  It's like my Sicilian neighbor used to say about his people.  When you hit something with a hammer and it doesn't fix it, then get a bigger hammer.

In reply to by wildbad

bshirley1968 DingleBarryObummer Mon, 08/06/2018 - 08:38 Permalink

Not to mention how bringing 2 million troops home would be detrimental to the unemployment numbers.

The federal government would have to create a new national police agency.

Edit: Paging Stan522. Stan , please come tell us again about they way the EU has already folded like a cheap suit and begged Trump to let them stay in the game.

It was so naive of you to think it would ever be that clean and easy.....nobody in a position of power likes to be told what to do by someone who speaks another matter the position or the language.....nobody.

In reply to by DingleBarryObummer

Momzilla bshirley1968 Mon, 08/06/2018 - 11:45 Permalink

Hi bshirley,  " bringing 2 million troops home would be detrimental to the unemployment numbers"

Sadly; I couldn't agree more.  During the 1st and 2nd world wars the women had to step in to fill the work efforts previously carried out by men.  They resented having to give up their jobs to men when the soldiers.

What I hope President Trump will do with this incredible manpower is to mobilize them to work on cleaning up the forest kindling before even more fires happen and to BUILD THAT WALL.  It's amazing how almost everyone has always hated the USA, but everyone wants in at some point in time.  END GLOBALIZATION OF NORTH AMERICAN RESOURCES. 

In reply to by bshirley1968

Fireman sheikurbootie Mon, 08/06/2018 - 09:28 Permalink

$sarca$m, I presume because a nation of warmongering junkie panhandlers can't afford to get uppity when down on skid row or perhaps "they" never explained the consequences of being a down and out debt bum.…


For those from team Chump that still don't get ba$ic finance...Schiff explains



In reply to by sheikurbootie

Momzilla Fireman Mon, 08/06/2018 - 12:14 Permalink

Fireman; Have you read anything from Wikileaks from 2011 forward? Have you read the secret TPP Negotiations? Have you read any of the HRC emails released through the newspapers?  Have you read any of the Peter Strzok/Lisa Page text messages released by the FBI?  My favorite is June 13, 2016!!!!   I have and Peter Schiff explanations don't cut it.

Trump did not "collude" with the Russians. That is all he is saying when he says; 'It's a hoax'.   ALL EVIDENCE through this PEEPEE Dossier points back to Hillary Clinton "CONSPIRING" with the Russians.  Namely selling 20% of USA Uranium to Russia so they have a world monopoly.  That was back in 2010 and all pulled off under Robert Mueller's FBI Watch while imposing a gage order on FBI Informant John Campbell. 

James Comey get's fired.  Mueller interviews for the vacant FBI Director position and is turned down, then suddenly he is appointed as a Special Investigator?  I didn't see any Face Book Ads which only amounted to $100k in total.   Did you?

Manafort is being tried on BANK FRAUD, not Russian Collusion as we hear from MSN daily over the last week.

If you are a fireman you have to know how fires start! 

Schiff is a huge liar, and he is going to go down when the redacted portions of the FBI Warrant on Carter Page are released.  

Funny how Donald Trump has about 20 years of MSN Interviews where he never says a mean thing about different races of people, but has plenty to say about Business and Governments all over the World.  Please educate yourself. Youtube is a great place to start before MSN started trashing him. 

If you are pissed at the President because of his stance on immigration, his feelings and policies were also mirrored by Bernie Sanders and captured during a 2015 interview.  They were also mirrored by Bill and Hillary Clinton!  Check it out.

In other news; It's too good to be true!  

In reply to by Fireman

The Ram sheikurbootie Mon, 08/06/2018 - 09:56 Permalink

Sanctioning Iran is not in any way 'bringing the boys home'.  In fact, Trump is slowly trying to start a conflict with Iran.  Kind of a Gulf of Tonkin incident in which we goad Iran into making a first move.  I hate the EU, but I am happy they are resisting Trump and his war on Iran.  Fortunately, I don't think most of the world powers want conflict with Iran.  I don't think the US can pull off a full blown war with Iran without severe financial and military repercussions.  I think the beast is out of steam.  This is not the 1960's where we could pull this off unimpeded.

In reply to by sheikurbootie

Pol Pot sheikurbootie Mon, 08/06/2018 - 09:57 Permalink

correct the average american does not need the rest of the world because the US makes very little that the rest of the world needs or buys, but the average american Billionaire and bankster can only survive and retain their wealth if the US is a castrated global money print machine that exports USD and Arms.....and since the billionaires rule over amerika...well you know where things will end up....

In reply to by sheikurbootie

sessinpo Pol Pot Mon, 08/06/2018 - 10:36 Permalink

Pol Pot sheikurbootie Mon, 08/06/2018 - 09:57 Permalink

but the average american Billionaire and bankster can only survive and retain their wealth if the US is a castrated global money print machine that exports USD and Arms.....and since the billionaires rule over amerika...well you know where things will end up....


You severely underestimate the average billionaire. They will go wherever is profitable. It's just that free casino money is a no brainer and as long as that gravy train exists, they will milk it. When that's gone, they'll move to something else just like everyone else does.

In reply to by Pol Pot

Killdo sheikurbootie Mon, 08/06/2018 - 10:52 Permalink

"The US doesn't need the rest of the world for survival."

I see how well they are' surviving' every time I walk around SF, LA, NYC, DC< Seattle etc - thousands of dirt-poor homeless shitting and pissing everywhere while sleeping in gutters close to PRADA store, Twitter HQ, etc. Used syringes everywhere mixed with human shit

Death is far better than such 'survival' 

In reply to by sheikurbootie