European companies ‘protected’ from US sanctions following Iran nuclear row


European companies will be protected from the impact of new sanctions imposed by the US on Iran, Britain has said.

Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt has moved to reassure businesses they will not face legal action in connection with deals with Iranian firms.

A “blocking statute” comes into force on Tuesday that will nullify potential court action taken by the US over breach of the sanctions.

Hailing the law, Mr Burt said it would protect European businesses.

Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt makes a statement in the House of Commons, London, on the latest situation in Egypt.
  European companies ‘protected’ from US sanctions following Iran nuclear row skynews alistair burt mp 4310994
Alistair Burt has sought to reassure businesses based in Britain

He told BBC radio: “If a company fears legal action taken against it and enforcement action taken against it by an entity in response to American sanctions then that company can be protected as far as EU legislation is concerned.

“It is a commercial decision for companies whether they continue to work in Iran.”

Brussels says protecting businesses based there is necessary because the sanctions have an “unlawful” reach beyond US borders.

“We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the U.S,” the EU said in a statement.

President Rouhani has dismissed calls for talks with the US   European companies ‘protected’ from US sanctions following Iran nuclear row skynews hassan rouhani donald trump 4382408
Hassan Rouhani has called the action ‘psychological warfare’

Other countries have also asked EU officials for details on the blocking regulations, as they explore ways to bypass sanctions.

“There is a clear interest around the world,” one staffer said.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump said he would fully enforce sanctions imposed on Iran following his decision to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The measures will hit key metals, such as gold, and the automotive industry.

Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, hit back by calling the move “psychological warfare”.

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