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European companies can be protected from U.S. sanctions on Iran - UK minister

European companies can be protected from U.S. sanctions on Iran - UK minister
FILE PHOTO: Alistair Burt arrives at 10 Downing Street as Britain's re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron names his new cabinet, in central London, Britain May 11, 2015. REUTERS/Neil Hall   -   Copyright  Neil Hall(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – European companies can be protected from new U.S. sanctions on Iran, a junior British foreign minister said on Tuesday, after President Donald Trump withdrew from an international agreement designed to deny Tehran the ability to build nuclear weapons.

As Washington’s so-called snapback sanctions are reinstated on Tuesday, a new EU law to shield European companies will also take effect to try to mitigate what EU officials say is their unlawful reach beyond U.S. borders.

“If a company fears legal action taken against it and enforcement action taken against it by an entity in response to American sanctions then that company can be protected as far as EU legislation is concerned,” Alistair Burt, the British minister of state for the Middle East, told BBC radio.

“It is a commercial decision for companies whether they continue to work in Iran.”

(Reporting By Andrew MacAskill; editing by Michael Holden)

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