Europe moves to safeguard interests in Iran after US quits
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.