European companies doing business with Iran could soon find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Should they comply with US sanctions and abandon Tehran, they may in turn face sanctions in their home EU.
If European companies cave in to US President Donald Trump's threat of secondary sanctions and stop doing business in Iran, they will be punished by the EU itself, says the aide to Federica Mogherini, the bloc's foreign policy chief.
“If EU companies abide by US secondary sanctions they will, in turn, be sanctioned by the EU,” Nathalie Tocci told BBC Radio 4 in an interview on Monday night, as reported by NBC.
According to Tocci, the move would show Iranians that the Europeans are serious about keeping the 2015 nuclear deal intact despite Washington's efforts to tear it down. Earlier, the EU enacted the Blocking statute to forbid its companies from complying with the US sanctions, which came back into force on Monday as part of Washington's push to bend Tehran to comply with its multiple demands.
Since Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 JCPOA agreement, which envisioned the lifting of economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for it winding down its nuclear development, the other signatories have been scrambling to keep the deal alive.
Trump, meanwhile, wants a new deal, which would also end Iran's missile program and regional influence ambitions. As US sanctions were reintroduced on Monday, Trump warned that "Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States" – all for the sake of "WORLD PEACE, nothing less!"