European Union shields businesses from fallout of Trump's nuclear sanctions on Iran

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It also means European Union companies are.

The European Union on Friday launched "the blocking statute" process to spare Europeans from United States sanctions on Iran as part of efforts to preserve the nuclear deal with Tehran.

The European Union has relaunched an old law to try to protect European businesses at risk of USA sanctions if they continue to trade with Iran.

The European Commission said Friday it is taking steps to shield EU companies doing business in Iran after the US government abandoned an global nuclear deal and warned that it could impose sanctions on companies trading with Tehran.

The Blocking Statute forbids European Union companies from complying with the extraterritorial effects of USA sanctions, allows companies to recover damages arising from such sanctions, and nullifies the effect in the European Union of any foreign court judgements based on them.

The aim is to have the measure in effect before the first batch of U.S. sanctions kicks in on August 6, the EU's executive said in a statement. Trump vowed to reinstate the previous sanctions and introduce new restrictions should Tehran carry out its nuclear ambitions.

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The step comes after Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif traveled to Brussels and met with his British, French and German counterparts to discuss the future of the nuclear deal without the US.

The European Parliament and the Council of the EU will decide to approve or reject the proposals within two months, ahead of the first batch of US sanctions taking effect on August 6.

It further pledged to continue energy sector cooperation, with EU Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete due to visit Tehran at the weekend.

"The American sanctions will not be without effect".

"As long as the Iranians respect their commitments, the EU will of course stick to the agreement of which it was an architect", said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, while warning that the United States decision to reimpose sanctions "will not be without effect". The EU will remain committed to the Iran nuclear deal, the European Commission said on Friday.

The Iran nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, ) signed by Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the US, France, Britain, Russia and China - plus Germany on July 14, 2015, imposes strict restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in return for the loosening of economic sanctions.