France pushes to compensate firms hit by US sanctions over Iran

France pushes to compensate firms hit by US sanctions over Iran © STR, AFP | French Minister for the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire speaks as he gives a joint press conference with the German Finance Minister after a meeting at the National Palace of Culture in Bulgaria.

France is looking to see if the European Union could compensate European companies that might be facing sanctions from the United States for doing business with Iran, said French finance minister Bruno Le Maire on Sunday.

referred to EU rules going back to 1996 that he said could allow the EU to intervene in this manner to protect European companies against any U.S. sanctions, adding that France wanted the EU to toughen its stance in this area.

In 1996, when the United States tried to penalise foreign companies trading with Cuba, the EU forced Washington to back down by threatening retaliatory sanctions.

European firms doing business in Iran face sanctions from the United States after President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

‘Are we going to accept the US as the world‘‘s economic policeman?‘

“Are we going to allow the United States to be the economic policeman of the world? The answer is no,” Le Maire told C News TV and Europe 1 radio on Sunday.

Le Maire added it was important Italy kept its EU budget commitments, in light of plans by Italy’s new coalition government to ramp up spending – which could put Rome at odds with the EU.

(REUTERS)