On Monday, Iran’s oil minister announced that the French energy major- Total, is leaving Iran.

Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said, “Total has officially left the agreement for the development of phase 11 of South Pars (gas field). It has been more than two months that it announced that it would leave the contract.”

The oil firm had reportedly withdrawn from a major gas development deal because of Washington’s unilateral reinstatement of sanctions against Tehran, and as such, Total ignores the promises made by the EU to protect European companies from US sanctions.

However, by installing the Block-statute in May, the European Union officials pledged to protect the European companies that are doing business in Iran. This is a law of one jurisdiction that is designed to hinder the application of a ruling made by a foreign jurisdiction

Prior to his meeting with President Donald Trump, President Jean-Claude Juncker said that “As the European Commission we have the duty to protect European companies. We now need to act, and this is why we are launching the process to activate the ‘blocking statute’ from 1996.”

Brussel’s announcement failed to assure major European firms, particularly those who have the prospect that losing the US market is more frightening than losing contracts in Iran.

Apart from Total, Maersk – the shipping giant, had announced that it would not resume any further shipping of energy products from Iran.
In agreement with the US, vehicle manufacturer- Peugeot, also made clear its intentions of leaving the Islamic Republic, while Daimler halted the expansion of its business in the country.

The sanctions came as a result of the US withdrawing from a nuclear deal that was signed in 2015 with Iran, Russia, China and the European Union.
Under that agreement, Iran vowed to limit its nuclear enrichment program and in return, decades of long economic sanctions against Tehran were to be lifted.

Several countries have vowed to continue working in Iran in spite of US sanctions. By condemning Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal, these countries are saying that they would only recognize an internationally agreed mandate by the United Nations.

There were a few renewed US penalties targeting the automobile sector along with gold and other metals trading, which came into force on August 7.
Washington’s second round of sanctions is set to come into effect on November 4, and the broader measures will target the Iranian oil and shipping sectors, as well as transactions tied to energy trading and the country’s central bank.