EU Will Block US Sanctions Against Iran Starting Friday

Europe to exempt its firms from US sanctions on Iran

EU moves to block US sanctions on Iran

Meeting at in an informal summit in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, the 28 EU leaders mandated the European Commission to defend the interests of European companies doing business in Iran, shrugging off Trump's threats of possible sanctions.

The Commission will now seek to negotiate a permanent exemption from USA tariffs.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday that one reason for the efforts to prop up the Iran deal is "so that our businesses can remain" in Iran.

Polish President Andrzej Duda speaks to journalists during a press encounter at the United Nations headquarters in New York, May 17, 2018.

Europe's mood is shifting from shock at US President Donald Trump's "America First" agenda to a resolve to close ranks and assert its own position.

"With the sanctions the Americans are to impose, you can't do business in Iran if you also have business in the USA, and we have that on a large scale", Skou told Reuters in an interview following the firm's first-quarter report. The bloc would also discuss WTO-compatible ways to improve reciprocal market access for industrial products including cars to avoid a trade war. The 2015 nuclear agreement is a crucial element of peace and security in the region. She highlighted the importance of deepening economic relations with Iran, including in the area of energy supplies. But Europe appeared to stand its ground this time.

The EU wants to salvage the Iran nuclear deal, which offers the Islamic Republic relief from economic sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme and Europe sees as an important element of worldwide security. "We have pledged to take necessary political steps for our companies to stay in Iran".

The veiled threats did not stop a London-based consortium of global companies striking a deal to develop an oilfield in Iran for 655 million barrels of oil in the southwestern Kernaj field.

"I'm privy to the information that the European Union is going to shift from dollar to euro to pay for crude from Iran", the diplomatic source reportedly told Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

"Trump despises weaklings", EU Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said on Germany's Deutschlandfunk radio.

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