French official: EU could aid companies impacted by US sanctions over Iran

French official: EU could aid companies impacted by US sanctions over Iran
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A French official said Sunday that his country is investigating whether or not the European Union (EU) can provide financial help to companies in Europe that may get slapped with U.S. sanctions for conducting business with Iran.

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Bruno Le Maire, France’s finance minister, spoke to two news outlets about how a rule could permit the EU to help sanctioned firms.

“Are we going to allow the United States to be the economic policeman of the world? The answer is no,” Le Maire said in an interview, as reported by Reuters.

Le Maire said a regulation from 1996 could permit the EU to take care of the financial penalty of the sanctions.

“Strengthening that 1996 rule ... would allow us to take charge ourselves of the cost of any potential sanctions paid by firms, which could therefore be paid for on their behalf by the European Union,” Le Maire said, according to the news outlet.

The remarks come after President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE earlier this month announced that the United States would withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran, which provided Tehran with sanctions relief in exchange for curbs to its nuclear program.

But several other nations are also part of the accord, including France, the United Kingdom, Russia, China and Germany.

Meanwhile, a top EU energy official on Saturday tried to assuage Iran’s fears and said the EU plans to remain part of the accord as long as Iran is in compliance with the deal.