Europeans Invoke ‘Blocking Statute’ To Preserve Iran Deal

Europeans Invoke ‘Blocking Statute’ To Preserve Iran Deal

Reprinted with permission from


Trump’s decision to violate the Iran nuclear deal is prompting the European Union to take action in direct rebuke of America. The EU will invoke a rarely-used trade law which would circumvent sanctions on Iran and try to salvage relations.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the group plans to invoke a blocking statute. The effect of the statute would be to ban European companies from complying with U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Iran has successfully complied with international inspections of nuclear facilities. Yet Trump, desperate to undo the accomplishments of President Obama, plans to reinstate the sanctions that were lifted in exchange for Iran halting nuclear production.

Furthermore, reintroducing sanctions is also likely to increase U.S. gas prices, causing financial pain for millions of Americans.

And the move showed how willing Trump is to abandon America’s allies, who urged him not to withdraw from the deal.

“We must act now and we will act now,” Juncker told reporters. “That’s why we are launching the process to use the 1996 ‘blocking statute’ to neutralize the extraterritorial effects of U.S. sanctions on European companies.”

The EU nations believe that keeping economic ties with Iran may be able to preserve the agreement.

Halting Iran’s nuclear development is integral to preventing loss of life and additional turmoil in the Middle East and worldwide.

The Trump administration has already threatened Germany if companies in that country don’t break ties with Iran.

The episode is the latest round in America pulling away from the rest of the world under Trump. He has often been at odds with allies like Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom on key issues. Yet he insists on cozying up to autocratic regimes that share his dangerous worldview.

Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, put Trump’s disdain for traditional allies in very clear terms. “With friends like that, who needs enemies,” he wondered.

His assessment appears spot-on. Under Trump, America is going it alone, abandoning allies it once fought beside to prevent the spread of tyranny. And the European Union is doing anything it can to limit the damage from his reckless acts.


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Remembering A Great American: Edwin Fancher, 1923-2023

Norman Mailer, seated, Ed Fancher and Dan Wolf, founders of The Village Voice

If you are lucky in your life, you come to know one or two people who made you who you are other than your parents who gave you the extraordinary gift of life. Edwin Fancher, who it is my sad duty to inform you died last Wednesday in his apartment on Gramercy Park at the age of 100, is one such person in my life. He was one of the three founders of The Village Voice, the Greenwich Village weekly that became known as the nation’s first alternative newspaper. The Voice, and he, were so much more than that.

Keep reading...Show less
How Is That Whole 'Law And Order' Thing Working Out For You, Republicans?

Former Georgia Republican Party chair David Shafer

One of the great ironies – and there are more than a few – in the case in Georgia against Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants is the law being used against them: The Georgia RICO, or Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations Act. The original RICO Act, passed by Congress in 1970, was meant to make it easier for the Department of Justice to go after crimes committed by the Mafia and drug dealers. The first time the Georgia RICO law was used after it was passed in 1980 was in a prosecution of the so-called Dixie Mafia, a group of white criminals in the South who engaged in crimes of moving stolen goods and liquor and drug dealing.

Keep reading...Show less
{{ }}