European Union miffed with United States for leaving Iran nuclear deal

President Donald Tusk in Sofia | Dimitar Dilkoff  AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Tusk in Sofia | Dimitar Dilkoff AFP via Getty Images

Danish oil product shipping operator Maersk Tankers said it would wind down its customer agreements in Iran by November, while German insurer Allianz said on Tuesday it was preparing to wind down Iran-related business. They are now scrambling to protect European Union companies doing business in Iran before the U.S. reimposes sanctions on Iran after the expiry of 90- and 180-day wind-down periods.

Tusk also called for the European Union to unite "economically, politically and militarily, like never before".

Iran has said it may start enriching uranium again if it can no longer see any economic benefit from sticking to the deal, which lifted earlier global sanctions on the Islamic Republic in exchange for it curbing its nuclear ambitions.

They tasked experts with coming up with measures for a meeting of their deputies in Vienna next week.

"The extra-territorial dimension of U.S. sanctions is unacceptable".

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After listing more of their proposals, Nigel finished: "So the whole European project is crumbling, the third biggest country in the eurozone is in open revolt against the whole system and all Donald Tusk can do is say a few sad words about Donald Trump".

"Looking at the latest decisions of Trump, someone could even think: With friends like that, who needs enemies?" said Tusk to reporters.

Mr. Tusk's tweet, however, was one of the more notable, public denunciations of Mr. Trump's decision making by a European leader, as a series of moves on trade, Israel and other issues has increasingly put traditional allies at odds with the administration in Washington.

French President Emmanuel Macron has tried to charm Trump but that failed to prevent Washington last week from abandoning the Iran deal, which seeks to curb Tehran's nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

"Transatlantic ties are and remain of paramount importance", Merkel told the German parliament.

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"I don't think we have to consider this or that, when it contravenes the laws of worldwide trade", Macron said.

Speaking to lawmakers in Paris on Wednesday, France's junior minister for Europe, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, said the U.S. behaviour meant it was time that Europe stood up for itself.

"Which company is going to risk access to the USA market, which is 100 times larger", Ardavan Amir-Alsani, a Paris-based lawyer who specializes in Iran, said in an interview.

She also said that canceling the nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers would be wrong, adding that the USA withdrawal from the deal was among several pieces of "troubling news" that had occurred recently.

The proposed European Union actions are no guarantee that the accord can be salvaged, however, with the U.S. Treasury Department saying companies with existing contracts will have 90 to 180 days to extract themselves from their Iran dealings before becoming subject to penalties.

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