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"This approach could help the Iranian authorities to receive their oil-related revenues, particularly in case of U.S. sanctions which could target European Union entities active in oil transactions with Iran", the document says. We will do that tomorrow morning at 1030.

It has also facilitated the ability of the European Investment Bank to support investment in small and medium-sized enterprises in Iran.

EC will maintain its cooperation with Iran while the US Treasury Department has recently announced to European companies that they have been given a six-month deadline to end their investment in Iran.

However, the Cuba row was settled politically, so the blocking regulation's effectiveness was never put to the test, and its value may lie more in becoming a bargaining chip with Washington.

The European Union tries to save the Iran nuclear deal and protect EU companies investing in the country by launching a process to activate its blocking statute that bans any EU company from complying with US sanctions and does not recognize court rulings that enforce USA penalties.

Earlier this month, the U.S. announced its intention to withdraw from the JCPoA, an agreement which prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for greater participation in the global economy.

"But the American sanctions will not be without effect".

European businesses are anxious that their ties with the USA could be damaged if they continue doing Iranian deals.

Some will come into effect by early August, with other sanctions coming into force by the beginning of November.

It added that European Union energy and climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete will travel to Tehran at the weekend. European companies have signed a number of multi-billion euro deals in the country since the sanctions were lifted. According to European sources, this measure may become the EU's first step towards ditching dollar in trade with Iran.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that it might be possible to compensate small and medium-sized firms, but not all businesses, from USA sanctions.

The EU executive's announcement is in line with the decision made by heads of state and government at their informal summit in Bulgaria on Thursday in response to the reinstatement of US sanctions related to the withdrawal of the US July 2015 on the Iranian nuclear program, announced on May 8 by Donald Trump.