EU’s bilateral trade with Iran at risk
May 16, 2018 -- Europe moved swiftly to revive economic relations with Iran after a deal to dismantle the country’s nuclear weapons programme was verified in January 2016, ending years of crippling international sanctions.
The challenge now facing the EU is how to keep the nuclear deal alive following U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to leave the agreement.
EU leaders are meeting in Bulgaria on Wednesday evening (May 16) where commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and EU diplomacy chief Federica Mogherini will brief them on the options to counter Trump’s threat of secondary sanctions against EU companies doing business in Iran.
Options under consideration include a so-called “blocking statute,” an EU regulation dating back from 1996 that says that EU companies “should not” take into account decisions by non-EU jurisdictions on some issues -- mainly the U.S. embargo against Cuba.
In 2017, according to EU commission figures, bilateral trade with Iran reached €20.97 billion, up 171 percent on pre-deal 2015. France, Germany and Italy were the most active EU countries in Iran.