EU Moves to Block Trump’s Iran Sanctions

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and, as of tomorrow, the Trump regime will reimpose economic sanctions to punish Iran for developing a nuclear program that the nuclear deal was successfully prohibiting.

Trump's sanctions could effect European companies that signed business deals with Iranian companies so, to that end, the European Union (EU) is taking steps to protect their companies.

When Trump's reimposes sanctions tomorrow, it will be accompanied by new action from the EU.

As Washington’s so-called “snapback” sanctions are reinstated on Tuesday, a new EU law to shield European companies will also take effect to try to mitigate what EU officials say is their “unlawful” reach beyond U.S. borders. [...]

The new measure forbids EU persons from complying with U.S. sanctions or related court rulings and allows for firms to sue in court to recover potential damages from parties who withdraw from contracts due to U.S. sanctions.

“For those who have exposure, there is no panacea. What this does is it provides a deterrence. It means that sanctions that are discretionary may never be applied,” one senior EU official said, adding that firms have rarely been fined under U.S. secondary sanctions in the past.

Iran's further compliance with the nuclear deal relies on the European Union's ability to preserve business ties with the country so peace in the region may depend very heavily on the outcome of these measures.

It seems unlikely to me that Trump will let this go unanswered, but I don't expect he will unload his childish frustrations on Iran. This could be just the excuse Trump is looking for to ratchet up his rhetoric against trade with the European Union. I would not be the least bit surprised if Trump even uses this as excuse to impose tariffs on foreign cars and car parts.

Trump's informal agreement with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was never going to last.

  • Draxiar
    • Badgerite

      Yeah. That’s about it.

  • muselet

    The EU is trying to protect companies within the Union, and as a result is acting as a check on Donald Trump’s whims and keeping the JCPOA alive.

    It’s good to know there are still some leaders who are grown-ups.


    • Badgerite

      They don’t have an ‘electoral college’. About time that was gotten rid of. It makes the US too vulnerable to the kind of campaign the Kremlin waged in 2016. Only had to target a few voters in a few swing states and close to a three million vote plurality is trashed. This destroyed the meaning of the votes of 2.8 million people as if they had no right to a say in their own governance.

      • muselet

        In normal times, the Electoral College is no big deal. If memory serves, the EC and the popular vote have been different something like three times.

        However, you’re right that the EC is vulnerable to hacking. Improved election security would probably be enough without eliminating the EC, but of course the Rs are resisting every effort to safeguard our elections because fiscal responsibility! or some such.


        • Badgerite

          The electoral college is subject to hacking only in that to change an aggregate of 70,000 votes in three states can overcome a 2.8 million vote popular vote for the other candidate. Russian intelligence didn’t need to worry about the popular vote. They didn’t need to change the votes of the opinion of close to three million people. They only needed to target a small percentage of voters in three states. The electoral college just makes the kind of operation that Russian intelligence engaged in this last election something that could succeed with little effort and little notice from the public. It has been over a year and we are still finding out aspects of their attack that were not revealed before or even after the election.

          • muselet

            I don’t disagree. That’s why “in normal times” is the first phrase I used.

            Russian intelligence identified and exploited weaknesses in the US electoral system. Those weaknesses must be addressed before 2020 (preferably before the midterms, but that’s not going to happen), which means protecting against malign exploits in the short term—increased security—and implementing systemic changes in the long term—maybe eliminating the EC is one of those changes.


          • Badgerite


  • Badgerite

    I will tell you what trump won’t do. He won’t attack Iran. Putin won’t let him. He may make a feint in that direction, as he did with North Korea, before completely caving to some kind of show ‘deal’ that will be brokered by Putin.
    He will also sign off on a ‘deal’ whereby Russia provides the same nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia as it did to Iran in the 1990s. This aid was the basis of the Iran nuclear program to begin with. So much for nuclear non proliferation.
    The more countries that have this weaponry, the more the chance for an intentional or even an accidental nuclear exchange. This is crazy stuff. Nothing good can come of this.