EU companies to brake US sanctions in Iran?

The European Commission on Friday adopted the first package of measures to protect European Union companies in Iran from US sanctions, legally annulling them on the territory of the EU, the EC statement said.

The first step was the approval of the “blocking regulations”, which “prohibits EU companies from executing extraterritorial sanctions of the United States.

In addition, the regulations allow companies to reimburse in court the losses from the actions of third parties that carry out these sanctions and annul the action on the territory of the EU of any foreign judgments on the implementation of US sanctions.

“The goal is that this measure will enter into force before August 6, 2018, when the first batch of US sanctions comes into force,” RIA Novosti informs the text of the explanatory note to the document.

In addition, the EU will remove obstacles to the European Investment Bank’s decision “within the framework of EU budgetary guarantees” on financing activities outside the EU in Iran.

Also, the EU calls on European countries to develop banking mechanisms that would allow Iran to receive oil-related revenues in the event of US sanctions against EU organizations participating in such transactions.

Earlier, the head of the EU, Jean-Claude Juncker, said that the European Union was launching a procedure for the application of the “blocking law” of 1996, which was aimed at neutralizing the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions against Iran.

French energy giant Total has not yet completely abandoned the Iranian market in connection with the resumption of US sanctions. However, the general director of the oil and gas company Patrick Puyanne pessimistically assesses its prospects in the country, CNBC reports.

Total decided to develop part of the world’s largest natural gas deposit South Pars, after a nuclear deal with Iran in 2015 allowed the removal of sanctions from Tehran. However, now Total is preparing to withdraw from the project in the Persian Gulf, if the US government does not release the company from sanctions.

US President Donald Trump on May 8 said that the country is withdrawing from an international nuclear deal with Iran, and promised to restore sanctions against Tehran. Washington gave European companies conducting business in Iran from 90 to 180 days to roll back investments, otherwise firms would be at risk of secondary US sanctions.

“There is not a single international company like Total that could work in any country with secondary sanctions, I do not have the right to do it, it’s just the reality of the world,” CNBC told the Pujanne at an OPEC seminar in Vienna.

As reported by “Vesti.Ekonomika”, the European Commission in May decided to begin the process of applying a law that prohibits European companies to comply with US sanctions against Iran and does not recognize any judicial decisions that ensure compliance with US sanctions. This measure is used for the first time in more than two decades.

“We also decided to allow the European Investment Bank to facilitate investments of European companies in Iran, the commission itself will continue its cooperation with Iran,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said after the meeting of the leaders of the European Union countries.

The head of Total admitted that his position probably does not go very well with the position of the leaders of the European Union trying to save a nuclear deal.

However, Puyanne noted that he should be pragmatic and face the reality.

“The truth is that the United States has the capital of the world today,” he said, “is it right that in this world the US is using this … to establish some rules for other countries?” This is a controversial issue. ”

“The US could decide that I can not have access to financing in the US,” said Puyanne. “Let me clarify: it’s impossible to manage an international company like Total without access to American funding.”

Total says that US banks are involved in about 90% of the company’s financial operations, while American investors account for more than 30% of its shares.