The European Commission on Friday launched the official procedure to activate the “blocking law”, to counter the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions for European companies wanting to invest in Iran, as announced the day before by its president Jean-Claude Juncker. This European regulation was created in 1996 to circumvent the embargo on Cuba, but never used because the crisis had been solved politically. Brussels hopes to adapt by August 6, when the first sanctions newly decided by the United States will take effect, said the Commission in a statement. “We must act now,” Juncker justified on Thursday after a European summit in Sofia, where he received “unanimous” support from EU heads of state and government. After the withdrawal of the United States from the Iranian nuclear agreement (JCPOA), the Europeans have pledged to pursue it. “The lifting of nuclear-related sanctions is an essential part of the JCPOA and the European Union is committed to mitigating the impact of US sanctions on European companies and taking steps to maintain the growth of trade and economic relations between EU and Iran that started when the sanctions were lifted, “says the Commission. This so-called “blocking” law allows European companies and courts not to be subject to regulations on sanctions imposed by third countries and stipulates that no judgment issued by foreign courts on the basis of these regulations can be made. apply in the EU. The EU executive also launched the procedure to allow the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support European investment in Iran, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. The European Parliament and the Council (the Member States) have two months to oppose these measures. “The procedure can be interrupted if the political circumstances no longer justify the adoption of measures,” says the EU executive.

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