"As long as the Iranians respect their commitments, the EU will of course stick to the agreement of which it was an architect", said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. We will do that tomorrow morning at 1030.
The Commission also proposes to allow the European Investment Bank (EIB) to facilitate investment by European companies in Iran. The Commission itself will maintain its cooperation with Iran.
European Council President Donald Tusk said EU leaders had agreed to give the Commission the green light to act whenever European interests were affected.
The European Commission said Friday it is taking steps to shield EU companies doing business in Iran after the US government abandoned an worldwide nuclear deal and warned that it could impose sanctions on companies trading with Tehran.
"Guarantees of benefits of the JCPOA should be given to Iran. But the American sanctions will not be without effect, so we have the duty... to do what we can to protect our European businesses, especially SMEs".
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Following the lifting of sanctions imposed on Iran in 2016 caused by the implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), many European companies flocked to Iran for clinching several billion-euro worth of deal and seized this opportunity to play an active role in Iran's energy sector, he concluded.
It added that European Union energy and climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete will travel to Tehran at the weekend. According to European sources, this measure may become the EU's first step towards ditching dollar in trade with Iran.
The EU executive's announcement is in line with the decision made by heads of state and government at their informal summit in Bulgaria on Thursday in response to the reinstatement of US sanctions related to the withdrawal of the US July 2015 on the Iranian nuclear program, announced on May 8 by Donald Trump.
The approach, it said, could ensure Tehran receives its oil-related revenues if U.S. sanctions target European Union firms active in oil transactions with Iran.
Boris Johnson said this week that it is right to "protect legitimate United Kingdom and European businesses, who may want to trade with Iran, who do want to trade with Iran, and who have great plans to do that".