…from Press TV, Terhran
[ Editor’s Note: My, my…the EU is doubling down on the Trump sanctions. Color me surprised at this move with some bite in it, forcing EU companies to support the EU line which I must say seems like a new kind of tug of war.
Did this catch the US off guard? We will know soon from Trump’s next Tweet, and I suspect it will be short and sweet. This is an interesting and unexpected move by the EU, and should boost the spirits of Europeans wanting their government to demonstrate that it is not a vassal of the US.
The big EU multinationals have not yet responded, and they may not publicly for now, choosing to work behind the scenes instead. We could be seeing a new era in government and big company economic-political relations.
The big showdown is going to come when the oil sanctions kick in, the biggest act of economic war that we will have seen to date. All those effected will have had time to plan their counter moves. China, for example, is going to use Iranian ships to move their oil.
We will now have to see how well they can coordinate their moves as the US is betting it can play the age old divide and conquer game with them. What other surprises are going to be sprung in the run up to the mid-term elections? We won’t have to wait long to see, as we are nearing the witching hour… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … August 20, 2018 –
The European Union has threatened to impose sanctions on companies that stop doing business with Iran in compliance with the US sanctions snapback mechanism.
“If EU companies abide by US secondary sanctions, they will, in turn, be sanctioned by the EU,” Nathalie Tocci, an aide to the 28-nation bloc’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, told Britain’s BBC Radio 4 on Monday night.
On Monday, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order, re-imposing a first round of unilateral sanctions on Iran, which had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The move came three months after Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the accord despite objections from the other parties to the deal – France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China – and the international community.
In a tweet, Trump described the fresh measures against Tehran as “the most biting sanctions ever,” warning that the countries doing business with Iran will “NOT be doing business with the United States.”
However, Mogherini and foreign ministers of Britain, Germany and France issued a statement stressing that they deeply regretted the new US sanctions.
They also announced an update of the Blocking Statute to “protect EU companies doing legitimate business with Iran from the impact of US extraterritorial sanctions.”
The European Union says the international community has an obligation to maintain economic ties with Iran, despite the US’s unilateral withdrawal from a multilateral deal with Tehran.
Tocci further stressed the need for such steps “in order to signal, diplomatically, to the Iranians that Europeans are serious” about the nuclear deal. The potential EU sanctions, the official added, were “politically and symbolically” an important step.
During a trip to New Zealand on Tuesday, Mogherini called on European firms to defy Trump over Iran.
“We are doing our best to keep Iran in the deal, to keep Iran benefiting from the economic benefits that the agreement brings to the people of Iran,” she said. “We are encouraging small and medium enterprises in particular to increase business with and in Iran as part of something [that] for us is a security priority.”
The second phase of US sanctions against Tehran will come into effect in November targeting Iran’s oil industry and foreign financial institutions with the Central Bank of Iran.
In a televised interview on Monday, President Hassan Rouhani said that Trump wanted the entire world to impose sanctions on Iran, but had failed to achieve that goal.
“Even today, which sanctions have been re-imposed [by the United States], Europe has stood against America. This is while Europe was always an ally of America,” Rouhani said.