European Commission formally announced the measures to protect interests of EU companies investing in Iran as part of the EU’s continued commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), the Iran nuclear deal. The EU acted on four fronts. The proposals got unanimous backing of EU Heads of State of Government at the Sofia meeting.

Firstly, it launched the formal process to activiate the “Blocking Statute”, by updating the list of US sanctions on Iran falling within its scope. It “forbids EU companies from complying with the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions, allows companies to recover damages arising from such sanctions from the person causing them, and nullifies the effect in the EU of any foreign court judgements based on them.”. It’s targeted to be in force before August 6, 2018.

Secondly, it launched the formal process to remove obstacles for the European Investment Bank (EIB) to decide under the EU budget guarantee to finance activities outside the European Union, in Iran.

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Thirdly, as confidence building measures, the Commission will continue and strengthen the ongoing sectoral cooperation with, and assistance to, Iran.

Fourthly, EC is encouraging Member States to explore the possibility of one-off bank transfers to the Central Bank of Iran.

Full release here and details of the “Blocking Statute” here.

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