Facing with new United States sanctions, European businesses plot Iran pullout

Leroy Wright
May 17, 2018

At the start of an EU summit in Bulgaria, the European Council president offered a withering condemnation of Mr Trump's White House.

The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, commented on the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran, saying: Donald trump has deprived the Europeans of the past illusions.

But the 28 EU leaders are not expected to make any quick decisions during their first meeting on the matter since Trump quit the accord, highlighting how US clout in global trade and finance limits the Europeans' scope for action.

EU President Donald Tusk said the leaders in Sofia would "reflect on recent global developments, in particular following President Trump's announcements on Iran and trade as well as the latest, dramatic events in Gaza".

Tusk even compared the USA administration to Europe's traditional foes Moscow and Beijing as he launched his broadside before a dinner of the 28 leaders in Sofia where they discussed the issue.

European officials sounded off on the Trump administration's Iran policy on Wednesday, amid signs European companies are prepared to end business dealings with the country instead of incurring possible USA sanctions.

Theresa May will travel to the Bulgarian capital where she will join a working dinner with her fellow European leaders, including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

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The three people who were injured were nearby and were being questioned by investigators late Tuesday night, he said. Authorities will not enter the building until they "deem it safe", he said. "And the ground shook", he told CNN.

The break with the USA over the Iran deal is just the latest in a series of major breaches in the transatlantic relationship.

He then added that the European Union needed to prepare for the negative impact this U.S. decision could have on their continent. Meanwhile the European Union is still trying to win exemptions from tariffs on steel and aluminium exports.

The European Commission is refusing to open talks on wider trade terms with the United States, including import tariffs on cars - a bugbear of the USA president - until it receives a permanent exemption from punitive taxes on European steel and aluminium. The EU and U.S. are friends and partners, therefore United States tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security'.

Europe can try to persuade companies to keep dealing with Iran, but just the threat of USA sanctions already has companies nervous. "We need to bring back reality in this discussion, which is not the case today".

In a letter to his European colleagues ahead of a summit Wednesday evening, Tusk doubled down on his convictions.

While European officials have spoken out against Trump's trade actions before, the language used by Tusk marks a new tone in the relationship.

"But frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful for President Trump because thanks to him we have got rid of all illusions".

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