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.
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.
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”.