Europe split in confronting the United States sanctions on Iran; Washington isolated

The immense vibrancy of the Nasir-al Molk Mosque

British Prime Minister Theresa May and Trump agreed in a phone call that talks were needed to discuss how U.S sanctions on Iran would affect foreign companies operating in the country.

Le Maire said Paris was seeking USA waivers and longer transition periods over Iran for French companies including Renault and Total, while pressing for European Union measures to improve the bloc's "economic sovereignty" in the longer term.

"It's time that European countries opened their eyes", Le Maire said on Europe 1 radio.

European governments tried for months to persuade Trump to stick with the deal but failed, and now fear it will raise the risk of conflict in the region.

U.S. President Donald Trump's Iran policy sounds hauntingly familiar to some current and former U.S. officials who witnessed the buildup to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, where sectarian and ethnic fractures and some 5,000 U.S. troops still remain.

"The holy system of the Islamic Republic will step up its missile capabilities day by day so that Israel, this occupying regime, will become sleepless and the nightmare will constantly haunt it that if it does anything foolish, we will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground", he said, according to state television.

"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".

"Nor have we had, since the implementation of the deal, adequate, really any, inspection of military facilities where the weaponization activities of the Iranians might be conducted", Bolton said.

A deepening transatlantic rift as "flattery" fails to sway Donald Trump has left Europeans in search of new answers, including closer dealings with Russian Federation that only recently would have been unpalatable, analysts say. After saying the deal was "defective at its core", he placed more sanctions on Iran. The grouping includes Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.

US officials, as well as analysts in Washington and the Middle East, cautioned that there were key differences between Bush's Iraq policy and Trump's approach to Iran.


"This deal is not a bilateral treaty".

"Turkey has always defended the stance that issues regarding Iran's nuclear program should be resolved through diplomacy and negotiations and has made intensive efforts in this direction", the ministry said in a press release on its website, Anadolu Agency reports.

"The basic thing that is going on is a highly tendentious, cherry-picked, "we know what the conclusion is" use of intelligence, Pillar said.

Europe's heavyweight economies took steps on Friday to safeguard their commercial and political interests in Iran, seeking to keep the nuclear deal with Tehran alive after Washington pulled out and said sanctions would follow.

"The Europeans have repeated on several occasions that they will not be able to resist United States sanctions".

So far, the other parties to the accord - China, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and Iran - have remained in the deal. "The answer is no", Le Maire told reporters.

Facing that reality, Le Maire said the European Union should strengthen its own legal arsenal against any such future USA threats.

He said France would propose sanctions-blocking measures to the European Commission in the next few days.

Another could be an independent financing mechanism allowing European companies to avoid U.S. banks.

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