E.U. threatens firms that stop doing business with Iran over Trump sanctions

08 August, 2018
Source: NBCNews.com

European firms that stop doing business with Iran because of reimposed U.S. sanctions could in turn be sanctioned by the E.U., a special adviser to the 28-country bloc's top diplomat has warned.

“If E.U. companies abide by U.S. secondary sanctions they will, in turn, be sanctioned by the E.U.," Nathalie Tocci, an aide to E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, told Britain’s BBC Radio 4 on Monday night.

She characterized the measures as an attempt to "protect European companies.”

Tocci said the move was "necessary in order to signal, diplomatically, to the Iranians that Europeans are serious" about trying to salvage the Iran nuclear deal.

Tocci, the adviser, conceded that potential E.U. sanctions as part of the so-called blocking statute that came into effect on Tuesday were "politically and symbolically" an important step. The European measures are aimed at allowing firms to recover damages from bodies that enforce American sanctions, and ban companies from complying with the sanctions without E.U. permission.

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