European firms that cut ties with Iran over new US sanctions which kicked in at Midnight might find themselves subject to sanctions of their own, warned an EU official.
“If EU companies abide by U.S. secondary sanctions they will, in turn, be sanctioned by the EU,” Nathalie Tocci, an aide to the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, told BBC Radio 4 on Monday, according to NBC News.
The EU is helping Iran “In order to signal, diplomatically, to the Iranians that Europeans are serious” about trying to salvage the Iran nuclear deal – which President Trump pulled out of in May, sending former US Secretary of State John Kerry running around Europe and the UN to try and nurse his baby back together.
At midnight Monday, the U.S. began targeting oil-rich Iran’s automotive industry and civil aviation sector, as well as trade in gold and other metals in a set of punitive measures that had been eased under Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.
Trump has called for a wholesale overhaul of Iranian regional policies, such as an end to its military support for the Syrian government and regional militant groups like Lebanon’s Hezbollah. The 2015 pact did not curb these actions, one reason Trump has called the agreement “the worst deal ever.” -NBC News
Early Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted “Iran sanctions have officially been cast,” adding “Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States. I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!”
German car manufacturer Diamler announced on Tuesday that it had halted its activities in Iran.
“We will continue to closely monitor the political developments, especially in connection with the future of the nuclear agreement,” the company said in a statement.
And in June, Peugeot’s parent company PSA took steps to suspend a joint-venture in Iran, while rival Renault also agreed to follow the US sanctions.
French oil giant Total has said it would quit a multibillion-dollar gas project if it cannot secure a waiver from the sanctions — a request the French government says had been rejected. -NBC News
The move follows comments made in May by US Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, who warned firms against continuing to do business with the Islamic Republic or risk consequences.
“U.S. sanctions will target critical sectors of Iran’s economy. German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately,” he tweeted.