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Spanish companies fear the effect of US sanctions on Iran
EDURNE MARTÍNEZMadrid
Wednesday, August 8, 2018, 01:06


The commercial relations between Spain and Iran were quite modest until the pact with the international community after the coming to power of Hasan Rohani in 2013, at which time there was a significant rebound. Around 1,400 Spanish companies operate in the country, and 450 are regular exporters. Now, after knowing the sanctions that the United States prepares against Iran "to change its behavior" and force them to negotiate a new "broader" nuclear pact, they are afraid of the possible effects that they may bring.

Its objective is to economically isolate the Iranian Executive, forcing foreign companies to close their businesses in the Persian country, although at the same time it threatens to deepen the gap between the US and the European Union because these sanctions will affect many European companies. In fact, Trump has already warned that entities that do not cancel their activities with Iran "run the risk of suffering serious consequences."

Given this behavior, the EU yesterday made effective a series of measures to limit the impact of these sanctions on European companies, opening the door to claim compensation for damages and protect Europeans doing business there. Thus, Brussels has updated its legislation to reassure investors: "If the sanctions of the United States are aimed at regulating the conduct of EU companies even if they are not related to US legislation, they are illegitimate and illegal," the sources said. . According to the EU, companies will have to respect sanctions but this mechanism will allow them to "mitigate their impact".

One of the Spanish affected is Meliá Hotels International, which signed an agreement in April 2016 to manage a luxury hotel in Iran, the Gran Meliá Ghoo. The company declined to comment on "these political issues" claiming that they are still under construction.

Spain greatly reduced exports and imports in the years of international isolation due to the development of the nuclear program. Now, purchases have multiplied by 15, from representing just 85 million in 2013 to about 1,325 million in 2017. This increase has focused on the acquisition of oil, the countrys main source of wealth, and which before international sanctions reached Assume 14% of the crude oil imported by Spain.

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