EU vows to thwart Trumps sanctions on Iran

Senior European officials on Monday castigated U.S. President Donald Trumps renewed sanctions on Tehran as “illegal” and in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution, and they vowed to intensify efforts to thwart the U.S. measures and preserve the Iran nuclear accord.

The effort to preserve the nuclear deal, led by the EU and by the three European architects of the accord — France, Germany and the U.K. — puts the United States in direct conflict with its largest and most powerful NATO allies. It represents the sharpest break between Washington and its European partners on foreign policy since Trump took office and began calling into question decades of diplomatic norms.

Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear accord, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May. Other parties to the accord — the Europeans, as well as Russia and China — have repeatedly reaffirmed their commitment to it, citing multiple inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency showing Iran to be in compliance.

A first battery of U.S. sanctions against Iran was set to snap into effect at midnight Monday, with other sanctions, notably against Irans oil industry — the lifeblood of its economy — and its energy sector in general to be reimposed in November.

In a statement, Trump promised tough enforcement and warned violators of “severe consequences.”

In Brussels, senior diplomats issued a stern statement expressing “regret” at the U.S. action.

“The United States is fully committed to enforcing all of our sanctions, and we will work closely with nations conducting business with Iran to ensure complete compliance,” Trump said. “Individuals or entities that fail to wind down activities with Iran risk severe consequences.”

In two briefing calls for reporters, senior Trump administration officials insisted that the nuclear deal, negotiated by Barack Obama, had not gone far enough to curtail Irans nuclear weapons program or to stop Tehran from other aggressive actions in the Middle East and beyond, including sponsorship of terrorism.

“This administration is fully committed to rigorously enforcing our sanctions and ensuring the Iran has no path to a nuclear weapon,” one senior administration official said. Another official added: “The purpose of a robust sanctions enforcement is to deny the regime the revenues it uses to finance terrorism and other malign programs around the world.”

In Brussels, senior diplomats issued a stern statement expressing “regret” at the U.S. action and vowing to uphold the JCPOA. The EU announced that a “blocking statute” intended to shield European companies that continue doing business with Iran from so-called secondary sanctions would take effect at precisely the same time — 6 a.m. Tuesday in Europe.

Free enterprise

At a news conference, senior European Commission officials bluntly accused the Trump administration of violating international law, and said their blocking statute would allow EU companies that continue doing business in Iran to recover any damages, including legal costs, from entities — including U.S. banks and businesses — acting to enforce the U.S. sanctions.

“The EU is a market economy we protect freedom of enterprise,” a senior Commission official said. “The purpose of the blocking statute is not to oblige any company to invest but actually it is to make sure their business decisions remain free and not imposed upon by legislation, which we consider unlawful.”

Another senior official added, “Its very important to recall that the JCPOA is part of the U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, it is fully part of it, so it is a U.N. Security Council resolution that has been adopted and has the strength that we know in international law.”

Political leaders were also forceful in criticizing Washington.

“We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the U.S., due to the latters withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” the EUs high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, said in a statement also signed by the foreign ministers Jean-Yves Le Drian of France, Heiko Maas of Germany, and Jeremy Hunt of the United Kingdom.

“The JCPOA is working and delivering on its goal, namely to ensure that the Iranian program remains exclusively peaceful, as confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency,” they said.

A newspaper with a picture of Trump on the front page in capital Tehran | Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

The most direct conflicts may not come until November, when U.S. sanctions intended to cripple Irans oil industry come back into effect. European officials have already said that they are working to find ways to keep Irans oil business alive, including new financing mechanisms perhaps through European central banks. China has already said it will continue buying oil from Iran.

But Washington is adamant it will stop the oil revenues that are financing the Iranian regime, including its military activities in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and elsewhere, in addition to its support for groups like Hezbollah. “It is our policy to get as many other countries to zero as possible,” a senior Trump administration official said of Iranian oil imports.

Risk to civilians

In their briefings to reporters, U.S. officials also reiterated Trumps willingness to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani — without any preconditions.

“The president has been very clear: None of this needs to happen,” an official said. “He will meet with the Iranian leadership any time.” But the Americans also lambasted the Iranian regime for victimizing its own people, violating human rights and sponsoring terrorism. They also pushed back hard on questions about sanctions related to Irans civilian aviation sector — and the potential risks to ordinary citizens flying on unsafe aircraft — by saying that Irans government frequently uses its commercial aviation sector for military purposes.

European officials, under pressure for details about how their blocking statute would work in practice, acknowledged that their legislation would not fully blunt the impact of U.S. sanctions. But said they wanted to provide as much reassurance as possible to European businesses. They also said there was continuing strong solidarity with Russia and China to preserve the economic benefits in the JCPOA that convinced Tehran to curtail its nuclear weapons program.

European officials noted that the U.S. had rarely tried active enforcement of secondary sanctions.

“Were doing our best,” a third senior EU official said. “The U.S. has sent a very strong signal to the markets, and now we are trying to reverse that signal.”

Some experts say the EUs moves are unlikely to have the desired effect, arguing that the blocking statute would create legal burdens for Europe-based companies without preventing the U.S. from targeting their American branches and assets. For many companies, the risk of being cut off from business in the U.S. — a far bigger market than Iran — is enough to make them want to comply with Washingtons demands.

However, European officials noted that the U.S. had rarely tried active enforcement of secondary sanctions and had met with little success in the few attempts in the past. The Europeans said they were hoping for a political deal as occurred in the 1990s during a similar dispute over unilateral U.S. sanctions against Cuba and Iran.

“Its really uncharted waters,” the third senior official said. “Last time we had a political settlement. Lets see if well have a political settlement.”

Nahal Toosi contributed reporting.

Read this next: Manaforts defense team attempts mission impossible

Related Articles


  1. Hello there, I discovered your website by way of Google at the same time as looking for a similar subject, your web site got here up, it appears good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  2. Wonderful goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just too excellent. I actually like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it wise. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is really a great site.

  3. Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch! “There are places and moments in which one is so completely alone that one sees the world entire.” by Jules Renard.

  4. Hi there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Terrific blog and excellent design.

  5. I simply could not leave your site before suggesting that I really enjoyed the usual information a person provide to your visitors? Is gonna be back continuously to check up on new posts.

  6. We are a bunch of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done an impressive task and our entire community will probably be thankful to you.

  7. Good web site! I truly love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I might be notified when a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your RSS feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

  8. Its like you learn my thoughts! You seem to know so much approximately this, such as you wrote the ebook in it or something. I think that you simply could do with some to pressure the message house a bit, however instead of that, this is magnificent blog. A great read. I’ll certainly be back.

  9. Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe this amazing site needs a lot more attention. Iíll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the info!

  10. I¦ll immediately clutch your rss feed as I can not to find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please permit me understand so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  11. I beloved up to you will receive performed proper here. The cartoon is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. nevertheless, you command get got an impatience over that you would like be delivering the following. sick for sure come more before again since exactly the similar just about a lot frequently inside of case you defend this hike.

  12. I just could not leave your site before suggesting that I extremely loved the standard info a person supply on your visitors? Is going to be back ceaselessly in order to inspect new posts

  13. Thank you, I’ve recently been searching for information about this topic for a while and yours is the best I have found out till now. But, what concerning the conclusion? Are you sure concerning the source?

  14. fantastic submit, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector don’t understand this. You should continue your writing. I’m confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  15. Whats up very nice web site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Wonderful .. I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds also…I’m glad to find a lot of useful information here in the submit, we’d like develop extra strategies on this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  16. I have read several excellent stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how a lot effort you put to create one of these great informative web site.

  17. Hiya, I am really glad I’ve found this information. Today bloggers publish only about gossips and web and this is really frustrating. A good blog with interesting content, this is what I need. Thanks for keeping this web site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

  18. An attention-grabbing dialogue is price comment. I believe that it’s best to write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo topic but generally persons are not enough to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  19. Appreciating the time and energy you put into your blog and detailed information you offer. It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed information. Wonderful read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  20. I used to be recommended this website by my cousin. I am no longer certain whether this submit is written by him as nobody else understand such distinct approximately my difficulty. You’re amazing! Thank you!

  21. What i do not understood is if truth be told how you are now not really much more neatly-appreciated than you might be now. You’re very intelligent. You realize therefore considerably relating to this subject, made me in my opinion consider it from so many numerous angles. Its like men and women are not interested until it’s something to do with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs outstanding. At all times deal with it up!

  22. Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  23. Its wonderful as your other content : D, appreciate it for posting. “If Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be–a christian.” by Mark Twain.

  24. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this superb blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will share this site with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  25. Thanks for another great post. Where else could anybody get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

  26. What i do not understood is actually how you’re no longer really a lot more neatly-appreciated than you may be right now. You’re very intelligent. You realize thus considerably on the subject of this subject, made me for my part consider it from so many numerous angles. Its like women and men aren’t interested unless it¦s one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. At all times care for it up!

  27. Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you can be a great author.I will always bookmark your blog and will eventually come back later on. I want to encourage that you continue your great job, have a nice holiday weekend!

  28. I’d need to examine with you here. Which isn’t one thing I usually do! I get pleasure from studying a submit that can make folks think. Additionally, thanks for permitting me to comment!

  29. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read something like this before. So good to seek out any person with some unique ideas on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this web site is one thing that is wanted on the web, someone with a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet!

  30. It’s actually a great and helpful piece of info. I’m glad that you shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  31. 776955 809866Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn something like this before. So good to search out any person with some distinctive thoughts on this topic. realy thank you for starting this up. this web site is one thing thats required on the net, someone with a bit of originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet! 372008

  32. Merci pour les beaux article . Je été enquêter ce sujet pour un jour . Les marchandises et détails que vous précisez, je n’étais pas au courant. Je serai suivant votre blog maintenant et J’espère vous pouvez beaucoup plus sentiments et idées.

  33. I’m not sure why but this web site is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  34. Danke für die Großen Artikel. Ich war erforschen dieses Thema für irgendwann . Die Waren und Besonderheiten Sie angeben, ich war nicht bewusst. Ich wird sein anhängend Ihre Blog jetzt und mit etwas Glück Sie können mehr Ideen und Einsichten.

  35. Heya this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  36. Ich habe habe heute mehr als 3 Stunden online gesurft, aber ich habe noch nie einen interessanten Artikel wie Ihren gefunden. Es ist ziemlich viel wert für mich. Persönlich, wenn alle Web-Eigentümer und Blogger so gute Inhalte wie Sie erstellt haben, wird das Netz a viel mehr nützlich als je zuvor.

  37. Erstaunlich Blog! Haben Sie irgendwelche Tipps für aufstrebende Autoren? Ich hoffe, bald meine eigene Website zu starten, aber ich bin bei allem ein wenig verloren. Würden Sie empfehlen, mit einer kostenlosen Plattform wie WordPress zu beginnen oder sich für eine kostenpflichtige Option zu entscheiden? Es gibt so viele Auswahlmöglichkeiten da draußen, dass ich völlig verwirrt bin. Irgendwelche Ideen? Danke!

  38. Ich habe mich gefragt, ob Sie jemals daran gedacht haben, das Layout Ihrer Site zu ändern. Es ist sehr gut geschrieben; Ich liebe, was du zu sagen hast. Aber vielleicht könnten Sie etwas mehr Inhalt haben, damit sich die Leute besser damit verbinden können. Sie haben sehr viel Text, weil Sie nur ein oder 2 Bilder haben. Vielleicht könntest du es besser verteilen?

  39. Hey! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to give it a look. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Fantastic blog and excellent style and design.

  40. Oh my goodness! an incredible article dude. Thank you Nonetheless I am experiencing concern with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting similar rss downside? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  41. Thanks for some other informative blog. Where else may just I am getting that type of info written in such an ideal way? I’ve a project that I’m just now operating on, and I’ve been on the glance out for such information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button