When the Trump administration withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, it notified the world that companies doing business with Iran have between three and six months to wind down any business with the country before facing sanctions. But Europe wants to protect its businesses — and it’s looking into plans to fight back against those sanctions.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Friday that the European Union will look into reviving “blocking regulations” that were originally created in 1996 to protect European companies doing business with Libya and Cuba from US sanctions. They were an effective tactic at the time: They actually convinced Washington to back down from imposing sanctions.
“We have to work among ourselves in Europe to defend our European economic sovereignty,” Le Maire told Europe 1 Radio.
Europe’s interest in using the tool shows how committed it is to pushing back against US threats to its private sector — and it exposes yet another source of tension in the weakening relationship between Europe and the US in the Trump era.
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