Companies told to ignore White Hoe demands to drop all with

Cuba

The EU has launched an attempt to protect an es from Donald Trumps sanctions against Iran as the administration voiced its intent to apply maximum pressure on Tehran by vigoroly applying its punitive measures.

The sanctions are to enter into force at midnight ( east coast time). At the same time, a blocking statute last ed to protect EU firms from sanctions against Cuba will be brought into force in an attempt to insulate firms and keep alive a deal designed to limit the ian s nuclear aspirations.

an firms have been instructed that they should not comply with demands from the White Hoe for them to drop all with . Those who decide to pull out becae of sanctions will need to be granted authorisation from the an commission, without which they face the risk of being sued by EU member states.

A mechanism has also been opened to allow EU es affected by the sanctions to sue the administration in the national courts of member states.

Trump announced his intention to hit firms doing business with Iran when he reneged on a deal struck in 2015 designed to help curtail Tehrans nuclear ambitions in return for limited sanctions relief.

A joint statement issued on Monday by the foreign ministers of the E 28 member states, including the s Jeremy Hunt, said there was a determination to protect the blocs economic interests and the nuclear deal, which Brsels, along with China and Rsia, continues to support.

The statement said: The lting of nuclear-related sanctions is an essential part of the deal; it aims at having a positive impact not only on trade and economic relations with , but most importantly on the lives of the ian people.

We are determined to protect an economic operators engaged in legitimate with , in accordance with EU law and with UN council resolution 2231. This is why the s updated blocking statute enters into force on 7 Augt to protect EU companies doing legitimate with from the impact of extra-territorial sanctions.

Despite the tough stance, there are concerns about the efficacy of the blocking statute; EU officials admit that companies continuing to invest in are taking a risk.

The Trump administration said on Monday it was not particularly concerned by the EU decision and that the strategy was designed to apply maximum pressure on Tehran.

This is completely consistent with what the president has done with other less friendly regimes to keep the maximum pressure until our goals are achieved, a senior administration official told reporters.

The Trump administration said it was ultimately seeking a new deal that addressed the totality of the ian threat, even as Tehran and key allies have scoffed at the notion of renegotiating the 2015 nuclear accord known as the joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA).

The ian president, Hassan Rouhani, praised the EU for its stance and dismissed the sanctions as psychological warfare designed to help Trumps political allies in the midterm elections in November.

Speaking on state television on Monday, Rouhani also said that Trumps recent offer to meet him was now meaningless: The person who has kned his rivals arm now says that he wants talks. They should first take out their kne and put it in their pocket.

The controversial decision to withdraw the from the JCPOA paved the way for the reimposition of sanctions in two stages. The first round comes into force on Tuesday, and the second takes effect on 4 November, 180 days after Trump ended participation. The transition period was intended to provide companies already doing with time to wind down their activities.

Our stated policy has not been regime change, it has been to mody the regimes behavior, a official said.

s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zar, pledged that his country would overcome this period of hardship, dismissing the new round of sanctions as mainly psychological warfare.

Zar said the fact that sanctions targeted s ability to purchase passenger planes showed the contempt for the ian population at large. you have [good] relations with people of , then the question is why the first round of sanctions you imposed were targeting planes?

There have been scores of plane crashes in since the 1979 Islamic revolution, resulting in at least 1,985 deaths. Decades of western sanctions have limited the countrys access to spare parts or new planes.

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