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The European Commission will launch the process of activating a law that bans European companies and courts from complying with USA sanctions against Iran, after Washington pulled out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.

The European Commission will initiate a blocking statute - a regulation which was created in 1996 to get around Washington's trade embargo on Cuba. "We must do it and we will do it tomorrow morning at 10:30", Juncker said at the summit in Sofia.

Under the "blocking statute", companies hit by sanctions will also be able to seek compensation and won't have to comply with any United States court orders against them.

It also does not recognise any court rulings that enforce American penalties.

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.The EU leaders pledged at the meeting to keep a united front against Trump, whose decisions to pull out of the Iran deal and to impose trade tariffs on Europe have triggered the worst transatlantic crisis since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.EU President Donald Tusk renewed attacks on Trump at the summit Thursday, suggesting that the USA administration was now as unpredictable as Iran's regime. The decision follows US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the treaty- and penalise companies that carry on doing business with Iran.

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The Commission also proposes to allow the European Investment Bank (EIB) to facilitate investment by European companies in Iran.

Some will come into effect by early August, with other sanctions coming into force by the beginning of November.

The European Union is trying to find ways to keep Iran in the 2015 accord by safeguarding the economic benefits of the nuclear deal after US President Donald Trump abruptly pulled out of the deal.

European Union officials say they are revamping the blocking statute to encompass Trump's May 8 decision to revive Iran-related sanctions. According to European sources, this measure may become the EU's first step towards ditching dollar in trade with Iran. Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete will travel to Tehran this weekend.

Earlier this month, the U.S. announced its intention to withdraw from the JCPoA, an agreement which prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for greater participation in the global economy.


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