With reports that the European Union is close to establishing its trade
vehicle for facilitating trade with Iran, the Trump Administration has
issued a statement warning them not to defy the US sanctions. in any way.
The US reimposed sanctions on Iran after withdrawing from the P5+1 nuclear deal. EU nations did not withdraw from the deal, and companies are still allowed to trade with Iran. This, however, is difficult because US sanctions are scaring most banks away.
The EU solution is a clearing house for the trades, which allow companies to pay for Iranian goods, and Iran to pay EU companies for services, without any money crossing borders, cutting the banks out of it.
US officials are threatening stiff fines and penalties if the plan goes forward. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) says the choice is between doing business with Iran or the US. The EU, however, is betting that the US cannot afford to simply cut off Europe entirely over Iran.
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