The nuts and bolts of sanctions against Iran take the form not only of direct sanctions against Iran and Iranian companies, but also of sanctioning companies, US, European or other, that do business with that Iran.
As noted in the article below, Frances Total (oil), and Peugot (cars), Germany’s Siemons (electronics), and the PanEuropean Airbus (big planes) all do business with Iran and would be penalized under US sanctions. Total EU-Iran trade was around $20b-25b (and growing quickly) since US sanctions were lifted 2 years earlier.
That is roughly 100X the business US companies did with Iran that same year.
That’s why “the Iran deal” went into effect without Iran ever ‘signing’ the accord. The sanctions.
President Trump, whose actions and intentions are never easy to understand, apparently objects to the fact that the “deal”
- slows rather than stops Irans march to nuclear weapons,
- does not address Iran’s development of intercontinental missiles
- does not address Iran’s support for proxy wars, proxies known to engage in terrorism etc…
The EU recently (yesterday??) announced plans to shield companies who do business with Iran and punish companies who deviate from their current course to comply with US sanctions.
In my estimation, this could be the beginnings of a pretty significant rift between the EU and the US.