EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has confirmed that beginning Friday, a 1996 “blocking statute” aimed at preventing the enforcement of the US sanctions against Iran will be brought back into effect. The law was initially passed to prevent the US blocking EU companies from trading with Cuba.
EU officials have been negotiating the matter all week, as an attempt to try to save the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran after the US withdrew, and started re implementing sanctions. EU leaders have agreed that the entire union will work together in protecting the deal.
The blocking statute explicitly forbids European companies from complying with any nuclear-related US sanctions against Iran. It also mandates that the EU states will not recognize any foreign court rulings trying to enforce the sanctions against those companies.
Two major EU companies, Germany’s Siemens and France’s Total S.A. had previously indicated they’d stop Iran deals for fear of punishment from the US. With the law passed, they now have considerable protection.
To save the nuclear deal, Iran has said the other parties have to ensure that sanction relief remains intact without US participation. Since the US wasn’t complying with the deal either way, all that really means is keeping the US from blocking the rest of the world from dealing with Iran