Europe moves to protect its firms working in Iran from US sanctions

 rt.com  5/18/2018 9:58:00 AM 

The European Commission has officially adopted measures to protect its companies working in Iran if the US reimposes sanctions against Tehran. The EU will remain committed to the Iran nuclear deal, the Commission said on Friday.

"In Sofia, we saw a show of European unity. As long as the Iranians respect their commitments, the EU will of course stick to the agreement of which it was an architect - an agreement that was unanimously ratified by the United Nations Security Council and which is essential for preserving peace in the region and the world,” said the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

The US Treasury has said it is giving European companies three to six months to wind down their business in Iran or face sanctions as well. Washington also warned European firms will face penalties if they sign new contracts.

“But the American sanctions will not be without effect. So we have the duty, the Commission and the European Union, to do what we can to protect our European businesses, especially SMEs, " added Juncker.

In a Friday statement, the Commission also said it “will continue and strengthen the ongoing sectoral cooperation with, and assistance to, Iran, including in the energy sector and with regard to small and medium-sized companies.”

France’s Total said on Thursday it could quit the exploration of a gigantic multi-billion dollar Iranian South Pars gas field because of the US sanctions. China’s CNPC is said to be a likely substitute in the event Total leaves.

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