The European Union warned Monday, July 16, of a souring of transatlantic relations if the United States renews a law that punishes foreign firms that do business with Iran and Libya.
In a statement after a regular monthly meeting in Brussels, EU foreign ministers expressed "concern with the likely extension" by the US congress of the Iran Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA).
The 1996 law calls for US sanctions to be slapped on international companies that do more than $40 million's worth of oil and gas business with either Iran or Libya.
"Unilateral sanctions with extraterritorial effects, such as ILSA, create unnecessary and unhelpful differences between us, adversely affecting the development of transatlantic cooperation and undermining our joint endeavor to fight terrorism and proliferation," the EU ministers said.
"They violate international law and state sovereignty and are prejudicial to the rights and interests of the European Union," they added.
Signed into law in August 1996 by then president Bill Clinton, ILSA was intended to isolate Iran and Libya at a time when both were accused by Washington of sponsoring acts of terrorism. ― (AFP, Brussles)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )