The EU plans to use its so-called "blocking statute" to counter US sanctions against Iran. The measure was first threatened in response to US sanctions on Cuba in 1996 but never introduced. Will it now help EU firms doing business with Teheran?
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced that the bloc plans to kickstart a 1996 law that would prohibit European companies from complying with US sanctions on Iran.
The recent Ukraine-Russia flare-up adds potency to US claims its gas is a safer, cheaper bet than Gazprom's. But as the Kremlin adjusts to meet new gas demands, the US gas revolution could be far from plain sailing.
France's Total had signed up last year to a $4.8 billion Iranian gas field project. However, it was forced to backtrack after the US threatened to impose penalties on any business found still doing business with Iran.
On Monday, fresh US sanctions against Iran come into effect, the next salvo in its economic conflict with Tehran. The main targets are oil exports and the financial sector. Europe is having difficulty forming a response.
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