Offbeat United Against Trump, EU Invokes Measures to Combat Sanctions

19:56  17 may  2018
19:56  17 may  2018 Source:

Oil wavers ahead Trump's Iran nuclear deal decision

  Oil wavers ahead Trump's Iran nuclear deal decision <p>Oil prices turned volatile Tuesday after a report that President Donald Trump will not pull the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, but it was not immediately clear whether the report was accurate.</p>Bloomberg News reported that Trump will announce new sanctions on Iran but would not leave the deal, citing CNN. However, that headline was not accurate. CNN actually reported that Trump would restore sanctions that have been suspended, marking the first step toward exiting the accord.

The German MEP said: "President Trump took measures against Bombardier in the UK and now he is imposing steel and aluminium sanctions against Europe . Ebs•abc news. EU news: Elmar Brok called on Britain to unite with the EU against US trade tariffs.

When Trump exceeded to pull out of the nuclear agreement last year, the European Union ’s ambassador to the United States, David O’Sullivan, warned that the EU could invoke a blocking statute that would protect European businesses from U.S.. secondary sanctions .

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, right, European Union President Donald Tusk, center, and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov attend a press conference during an EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Thursday. © LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, right, European Union President Donald Tusk, center, and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov attend a press conference during an EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Thursday. The European Union’s 28 leaders came to Bulgaria this week to deepen ties with partners in the east. They left preparing defenses against allies in the west.

First thing on Friday morning, the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, will begin putting a so-called blocking statute in place to shield European companies doing business with Iran from U.S. sanctions. It’s the first time in more than two decades that the measure is being invoked.

Oil heads for big weekly rise as Iran sanctions loom

  Oil heads for big weekly rise as Iran sanctions loom <p>Oil prices rose Thursday, heading for their largest weekly increase in a month, as the market prepared for potential disruption to crude flows from major exporter Iran in the face of U.S. sanctions.</p>The United States plans to impose new sanctions against Iran, which produces about 4 percent of global oil supplies, after abandoning an agreement reached in late 2015 that curbed Tehran's nuclear activities in exchange for removal of U.S. and European sanctions.

Foreign governments are threatening to launch stiff retaliatory measures against the United States if President Trump Donald John Trump Baldwin spotlights mother’s drug addiction, efforts to combat opioid In 1975, for example, Sweden invoked national security when it imposed quotas on footwear

The sanctions were imposed by the United States, the European Union ( EU ) and other countries and international organisations against individuals, businesses and "US sanctions several Russians, including oligarch linked to former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-04-06.

The deepening rift in trans-Atlantic ties was the main takeaway from the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, where leaders rallied together in defense of the rules-based international system and vowed to confront President Donald Trump’s “capricious assertiveness.” The EU agreed to throw its weight behind the Iran deal that Trump quit and pledged to suspend trade talks with Washington until the bloc is granted an unlimited exemption from threatened steel and aluminum tariffs.

“We will not negotiate with the sword of Damocles hanging over our heads,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters on Thursday at the summit’s close. “It’s a matter of dignity.”

Blocking mechanism

Europe’s mood is shifting from shock at Trump’s “America First” agenda to a resolve to assert its own position. Trans-Atlantic tensions came to a head with Trump’s decision to pull out of the landmark Iran nuclear accord that the remaining signatories — Russia, China, France, Germany and the U.K., along with the EU — all say is working.

France condemns US over Iran sanctions

  France condemns US over Iran sanctions It says European firms should not have to pay for the US decision to abandon a key nuclear deal.The action from Washington followed President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of a landmark deal that sought to curb Iran's nuclear programme.

In his combative speech to the United Nations General Assembly last week, Trump himself called the One of the hardest-hitting measures required other countries to significantly reduce their In the 1990s, the United States threatened sanctions against any company that made major investments

Note that EU autonomous sanctions cannot be imposed against individuals or entities where there is no foreign policy dimension. The Council of the EU has produced a factsheet on “The EU list of persons, groups and entities subject to specific measures to combat terrorism”.

The last time the EU threatened to use the blocking statute was in 1996, when Bill Clinton’s administration stood down and agreed to waive sanctions aimed at curbing foreign investment in Cuba, Iran and Libya.

The proposed EU actions are no guarantee that the accord can be salvaged, however, with the U.S. Treasury Department saying companies with existing contracts will have 90 to 180 days to extract themselves from their Iran dealings before becoming subject to penalties.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, warned that it wouldn’t be possible to shield entire industries from U.S. measures and said that she didn’t want to “encourage any illusions.”

Juncker reiterated the stakes of standing up to the Americans, saying “we have to understand that the effects of the U.S. sanctions will be felt.”

Unpredictable friend

The commission’s proposals on how to save the Iran accord were unanimously accepted by the EU leaders and included: keeping Iran’s oil and gas industry viable; allowing the European Investment Bank to facilitate investments in Iran; the creation of special purpose vehicles to allow for transactions between the regions; and protecting European companies that do business in the Middle Eastern nation.

Venezuela accuses U.S. of sabotaging election with new sanctions

  Venezuela accuses U.S. of sabotaging election with new sanctions Venezuela on Saturday accused the United States of using new sanctions against its government's top officials to sabotage a controversial presidential election on Sunday, which the country's opposition says has been rigged. The U.S. ramped up pressure on President Nicolas Maduro's government on Friday, accusing him of profiting from illegal narcotics shipments and imposing sanctions against the No. 2 official in the ruling Socialist Party, Diosdado Cabello.The United States has already imposed sanctions against Maduro for human rights abuses and blamed him for Venezuela's current economic and political crises.

The United Nations is not only imperfect, it is also misunderstood. Somewhat predictably, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans Obama likewise went to the U.N. when he sought to tighten sanctions against and cut off financial flows to ISIS and to push the White House

“This bill, if it comes into force, would allow measures against European natural or juridical persons for situations that have no connection with the United States,” the statement read. French and EU laws would need to be adjusted in response to the sanctions , she said

French President Emmanuel Macron said that neither France nor the EU had any intention of imposing sanctions or counter-sanctions on U.S. companies over Iran, since his defense of the nuclear accord was based on concerns about security and stability, not commerce.

Neither will the French president force companies to stay in Iran at the risk of attracting U.S. sanctions, Macron said, adding that “the President of the Republic is not the director general of Total,” the only western energy major with investments in Iran.

While Europe looks for the right balance of tools to deploy against its U.S. ally, if any at all, the political will to defy Trump united the normally fractious bloc. EU President Donald Tusk set the tone for the summit on Wednesday when he asked rhetorically before a dinner with the leaders: “With friends like that, who needs enemies?”

“The real geopolitical problem is not when you have an unpredictable opponent or enemy or partner, the problem is if your closest friend is unpredictable,” Tusk said at the close on Thursday. “This is the essence of our problem today with our friends on the other side of the Atlantic.”

With assistance from Jonathan Stearns, Arne Delfs, Ian Wishart, Gregory Viscusi and Andrea Dudik

Iran sets deadline for Europe's 'Plan B' to nuclear deal .
"I am personally maybe not optimistic but I am trying my best to come to a conclusion," a senior Iranian official told Reuters.The agreement between Iran and world powers lifted international sanctions on Tehran in return for it agreeing to curbs on its nuclear program.

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