Companies told to ignore White House demands to drop all business with Iran

The European Union has launched an attempt to protect European businesses from Donald Trump’s sanctions on Iran as the US administration voiced its intent to apply “maximum pressure” on Tehran by vigorously applying its punitive measures.

The sanctions are due to enter into force at midnight on Monday (US time). At the same time, a blocking statute – last used to protect EU firms from US sanctions against Cuba – will be brought into force in an attempt to insulate firms and keep alive a deal designed to limit the Iranian government’s nuclear aspirations.

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