U.S. threatens European companies with sanctions after Iran deal pullout

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini delivers her speech during the State of the Union conference organized by the European University Institute in Florence Italy Friday

Major European powers have sought to keep Iran in a landmark worldwide nuclear agreement after President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the pact and promised tough economic sanctions against Tehran.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has embarked on a whirlwind diplomatic tour to gauge worldwide readiness to guarantee Iran's interests if it decides to remain in a nuclear deal after United States withdrawal.

Iran's foreign minister said on a visit to Moscow Monday he was seeking "assurances" from the backers of the country's nuclear deal after the United States pulled out.

Germany, France and Britain all are signatories of the 2015 deal, which was meant to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

He says the European powers believe the U.S. should work to prevent Iran's nuclear activities from returning to its pre-JCPOA situation, while it is no longer committed to the deal.

"China is highly concerned with the direction of the Iranian nuclear issue and is willing to maintain communication with all relevant parties, including Iran", said Geng Shuang, spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

First, about half the 2.3M b/d of Iranian export crude oil still goes to China, India and Turkey (about 1.2M b/d is exported to those three nations, according to Poten and Partners head of research Erik Broekhuizen) and will continue to do so after U.S. sanctions are re-imposed. "Trump makes the decision and the advice that I give him is between us".

Trump wants worldwide inspectors to have greater and faster access to potential nuclear sites in Iran, including those suspected to be housed in its military facilities; an end to its ballistic missile work, which it says is inextricably tied to the delivery of nuclear warheads; a permanent extension of limits on Iran's enrichment of fissile material, which now sunsets within a decade; and a comprehensive policy addressing Tehran's military posture across the Middle East.

"I think at the moment there's some feeling in Europe - they're really surprised we got out of it, really surprised at the reimposition of strict sanctions".

"The Europeans have between 45 and 60 days to give the necessary guarantees to safeguard Iranian interests and compensate the damages caused by the United States pullout", Icana.ir reported.

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Up until Trump's withdrawal from the deal, it was creating change in the balance of power in the Middle East, he remarked.

Bolton said Europe was still digesting Trump's move last week.

Le Maire said he had asked U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for temporary or permanent exemptions for French companies, citing carmaker PSA, drug giant Sanofi and food group Danone among those affected - in addition to Renault and oil major Total.

Depending on how Iran reacts, this could be a decision with long-lasting and dire consequences in the Middle East and around the globe. "We Europeans believe that we are bound by our commitment if we want Iran to stay in the deal", he added.

Though Europe will do its best to keep the deal afloat and convince Iran to uphold its commitment without the United States, O'Sullivan said: "I very much doubt it will be possible to reinstate anything like that global consensus [in the JCPOA] given that it is the United States walking away from a deal that Iran agreed to".

Alarm has been particularly high in France, whose energy giant Total previous year signed a $5bn deal to extract Iranian natural gas. We will remind, the White house released a list of demands the U.S.to Iran.

The commander of the IRGC said that European countries can not be trusted because they are followers and not independent.

Many say sanctions allow the government to blame outsiders for its own bad decisions.

Also the representative of the government noted that the draft budget has been prepared taking into account the fact that the United States could withdraw from the Iranian agreement.

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