Two Iranian women walk in front of the US embassy in Tehran (Ali Mohammadi / Bloomberg) Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Whatsapp 0 > 07/08/2018 08:29 | Updated 07/08/2018 16:50 Related topics
The European Union (EU) makes effective this Tuesday a series of measures to limit the impact of US sanctions on Iran in European companies, opening the door to claim compensation for damages and protect Europeans doing business with the Republic Islamic
Given the concern of European businesses with the Persian country, Brussels has updated its legislation to reassure investors and ensure they recover the damage they may cause those extraterritorial sanctions considered “illegitimate,” European sources said.
If the sanctions of the United States are aimed at regulating the conduct of European Union companies even though they are not related to US law, they are illegitimate and illegal.
“If the sanctions of the United States are aimed at regulating the conduct of the companies of the European Union even if it is not related to the US legislation, they are illegitimate and illegal,” the sources said. According to the EU, companies will have to respect the sanctions but this mechanism will allow them to “mitigate their impact”.
Legally, the measures suppose an update of legislation already in force since 1996, known as the “blockade statute”, in response to possible extraterritorial sanctions against Cuba, Iran and Libya. Brussels already announced in May that it would update this statute, when the United States decided to withdraw unilaterally from the nuclear pact sponsored by the UN Security Council.
Its implementation is updated today following the announcement of the resumption of sanctions by Washington, with which it seeks to economically isolate the Iranian Executive, forcing foreign companies to reduce or close their businesses in the Persian country.
Brussels hopes to give legal protection to its companies, “especially those that do not have a physical presence in the United States”, with a “legal protection” that minimizes risk by canceling the set of decisions that emanate from these sanctions and affect companies European In addition, it will annul in the community territory the judgments in foreign courts based on said sanctions and will specifically prohibit European citizens compliance.
In this way, according to EU legislation, European companies can denounce not only the United States for the damages that these sanctions may cause, but also American or European firms that decide to unilaterally break a contract as a result of Washington’s impositions.
In case of wanting to abandon their activities in Iran as a result of sanctions, European companies will have to ask for an express authorization from the European Commission (EC), which will be able to make exceptions only if the companies manage to prove that Washington’s measures hinder their activity .
The measures seek to maintain the preservation of the EU’s financial channels with Iran and ensure the export of Iranian gas and oil, and reiterate support for the implementation of the agreement, “fundamental for the security of the EU,” the sources stressed. “The EU will remain firm in its protection of the economic actors that do business with the Islamic Republic in accordance with the provisions of the UN Security Council and community law,” they added.
In addition, the EU reiterates the need to “maintain a structured dialogue” to guarantee the implementation of the agreement, which according to the UN Iran is respecting, and ensure the normalization of economic and trade relations with that country, especially in key sectors such as banking and finance, oil or transport.
On the other hand, the EC had launched a process in May aimed at removing obstacles for the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance activities in Iran, although sources from this institution told Efe today that it “is not currently a financial instrument in the country. ” “We also depend on the fluctuations of the market and we would be equally affected by the sanctions, so we are not a viable financing instrument,” said the sources, who assured that the EIB does not currently finance any activity in Iran.