EU leaders showed unity in clashing with US President Donald Trump on preserving the Iran nuclear deal. European Council President Donald Tusk said after the summit in Sofia that “on Iran nuclear deal, we agreed unanimously that the EU will stay in the agreement as long as Iran remains fully committed to it. Additionally the Commission was given a green light to be ready to act whenever European interests are affected.”

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker added that the “the effects of the US sanctions will be felt” And, “it is the duty of the EU therefore to protect European business and that applies particularly to smaller and medium-size businesses.” He also said in strong words that “we will not negotiate with the sword of Damocles hanging over our heads” and “it’s a matter of dignity, and it’s a matter of principle”.

Juncker will begin a legal process to prohibit EU companies to comply with US sanctions on Iran. The “blocking statue” process will begin, accord to Juncker, to “neutralise the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions in the EU”. And “we will do it tomorrow [Friday] morning at 10.30.” In addition, Juncker said EU “also decided to allow the European Investment Bank to facilitate European companies’ investment in Iran”

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German Chancellor Angel Merkel noted “All European Union member states are still backing this agreement, despite the fact the United States has decided not to, and we will continue talks with the United States”. She added “we can see whether we can give small and medium-sized companies certain relief. That is being examined … As for compensating all businesses in a comprehensive way for such measures by the United States of America, I think we cannot and must not create illusions.”

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