European Union prepares measures to protect from United States sanctions on Iran

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"With the nuclear deal in place we have better chances to address any other issue.with Iran", Mogherini said.

Last week, President Trump undid yet another of President Obama's accomplishments - and once again, in doing so, has left us less safe and without a plan.

"Let's not fool ourselves that are that dozens of things we can do", said a second senior European diplomat. "We are not working under extreme time pressure".

The EU vowed on Tuesday to seek ways to work and trade with Iran.

But while some of the surge in gasoline prices could be attributed to market speculation over Trump's actions, other factors have been at play as well, such as political unrest in Venezuela and production cuts from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

"Our talks (with the E3) will continue in the next two weeks", he said, referring to Britain, France and Germany.

The official said that the European Union wanted to avoid "any logic of confrontation" with the U.S., but that the issue was a "sovereignty test" for the bloc.

They could consider retaliatory sanctions using the EU's so-called blocking statute that bans any European Union company from complying with United States sanctions and does not recognise any court rulings that enforce American penalties.

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The Financial Times pointed out that while U.S. regulators are transacting in dollars, European envoys are mulling over setting up state credit lines in euros to get around the dollar finance restrictions with the European Investment Bank as a possible source of funding.

Trump pulled out because the deal didn't look at leverage and the sanctions threat against Iran's regional influence, especially in countries like Syria and Yemen. Oil dominates Iran's economy, and the country has the fourth-largest proven oil reserves in the world, so sanctions or other supply disruptions could have impacts across the global economy.

"We're not naive and know it will be hard for all sides", Mogherini said, adding: "We know it's a hard task but we are determined to do it and we have started to work to put in place measures that help ensure this happens". "I think we've taken a big step backwards".

"We have a major problem", said Karine Berger, a former French MP, who was in 2016 the rapporteur of a French National Assembly report on United States extraterritoriality legislation. Under the new regulations, USA authorities will close existing US accounts - or prohibit the opening of any new accounts - belonging to any foreign bank that processes payments through Iran's central bank for any transaction, not just oil deals.

She explained that to escape USA sanctions, companies would have to stop using the dollar, which is used in about 90 percent of global transactions.

Mr Johnson added: "We will be looking at all the ways we can come up with to protect legitimate United Kingdom and European businesses who may want to trade with Iran, who do want to trade and have great plans to do that".

In her 2016 report, Berger concluded that the only answer to United States extraterritorial sanctions would be to sanction U.S. companies the same way. But with few exceptions (Boeing is the one of significance), these sanctions don't really affect U.S. businesses.

"[Its] anything but ideal but it's not right to cancel this agreement in this situation now", she said.

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