EU to protect business interests amid U.S. exit from Iran deal: Juncker

Updated 2018-05-18 10:33:06 Xinhua

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker here on Thursday said the European Union (EU) would protect the interests of its companies amid the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

The EU has to protect its companies that have invested in Iran, Juncker said at a press conference after the EU-Western Balkans Summit.

In a bid to do it, the European Commission would launch on Friday the process of activating of "blocking statute" that bans European companies from complying with U.S. sanctions against Iran, he said.

The EU would also allow the European Investment Bank to facilitate European business investment in Iran, he said.

Meanwhile, the European Commission would continue its cooperation with Iran, and European Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete would visit Iran in the near future to follow the links and exchange with the Iranian authorities, according to Juncker.

European Council President Donald Tusk, who also attended the press conference, said "the EU will stay in the agreement as long as Iran remains fully committed to it."

U.S. President Donald Trump has recently said that his country would abandon the accord with Iran signed during the Obama Administration in 2015, and renew sanctions on Iran. Under the deal, Iran agreed to freeze its nuclear programs in return for the lifting of most international sanctions.

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