At a summit in Bulgaria, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said European companies hit by US sanctions against Iran would receive support under a so-called 'blocking statute' last used more than 20 years ago.
An already-reeling Iran is preparing for the United States to reimpose all pre-2015 sanctions. The European Union has declared a general intent to assist Iran, but concrete steps in that direction are not yet evident.
Tehran has expressed hope that the Iran nuclear deal can be saved despite the US pulling out of the agreement. Iran's statement came during a visit of the British foreign minister to Iran.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced the details of US sanctions against Iran, including oil exemptions for eight countries. Tehran has said it will continue to sell oil despite the new sanctions.
US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell has welcomed German companies' decision to comply with US sanctions and stop business with Iran. Washington warned firms that trade with Iran that they could face repercussions.
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