Europe moves to safe­guard in­ter­ests in Iran af­ter US quits

The Sunday Guardian - - World - REUTERS

plan to meet on Tues­day to dis­cuss it.

That is part of a flurry of diplo­matic ac­tiv­ity fol­low­ing Tues­day’s uni­lat­eral with­drawal from what US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump called “a hor­ri­ble, one-sided deal”, a move ac­com­pa­nied by the threat of penal­ties against any for­eign firms do­ing busi­ness in Iran.

Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel said ways to save the deal with­out Wash­ing­ton needed to be dis­cussed with Tehran, while France’s Fi­nance Min­is­ter Bruno Le Maire said EU states would pro­pose sanc­tions-block­ing mea­sures to the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. British Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May and Trump agreed in a phone call that talks were needed to dis­cuss how US sanc­tions on Iran would af­fect for­eign com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing in the coun­try. May’s spokes­woman said May had told Trump that Bri­tain and its Euro­pean part­ners re­mained “firmly com­mit­ted” to en­sur­ing the deal was up­held as the best way to pre­vent Iran from de­vel­op­ing a nu­clear weapon. Both Le Maire and Ger­many’s fi­nance min­is­ter Olaf Scholz had spo­ken to their US coun­ter­part Steven Mnuchin, urg­ing him to con­sider ex­emp­tions or de­lays for com­pa­nies al­ready present in the coun­try. Le Maire said he was seek­ing con­crete ex­emp­tions for coun­tries in Iran in­clud­ing Re­nault, To­tal, Sanofi, Danone and Peu­geot. Scholz had also asked for con­crete mea­sures to help Ger­man com­pa­nies Han­dels­blatt news­pa­per re­ported.

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