EU Must Defend Firms against US Iran Sanctions: Macron

EU head criticizes Trump for hostile policies

But only against enemies and opponents.

Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, someone could even think: With friends like that, who needs enemies?

The president of the European Council has attacked Donald Trump's "capricious assertiveness" after the U.S. leader pulled his country out of the Iran nuclear deal and threatened the EU with tariffs on steel imports.

Iran has warned that staying in the deal hinges on the remaining signatories ensuring that Iran's sanctions relief still happens despite the USA withdrawing from the pact.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker speaks during a media conference at the conclusion of an EU and Western Balkan heads of state summit at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria, May 17, 2018. In response to a poser from a journalist whether China would order its companies to withdraw from Iran to avoid USA sanctions, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Beijing might defy the Trump administration.

"The US has systematically forced Iran to turn more towards Russian Federation and China".

The EU's proposals are its most assertive yet in dealing with the U.S., whose withdrawal from the 2015 agreement threatens to scupper the treaty and has anxious leaders it could put Iran back on a path to developing nuclear weapons. Tempers may fray if the USA gives no quarter as Europe pushes for waivers to shield its companies from the penalties.

But Europeans are increasingly exasperated by the way Trump is steering USA policy, objecting not only to his stances but also to what they say is erratic policy making that switches on the whim of Fox News programmers.

Last night the Netherlands Foreign Minister Stef Blok said he would try to protect European companies from the "consequences" of the United States secondary sanctions when he meets Trump administration officials.

In order to protect European Union companies from U.S. extraterritorial sanctions, they agreed to modernise the so-called blocking statute, a 1996 regulation that prevents companies to recognise certain non-EU jurisdictions decisions. It stipulates that no foreign court judgments based on these laws have any effect in the EU.

"What we demand is no conditions and no limits and to go back to the situation before", French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters on his way into the summit on Thursday (Friday NZT). She said, "Despite all the difficulties we have these days, the transatlantic relations are and will remain of outstanding importance".

The EU's 28 leaders are gathering in the Bulgarian capital for a dinner discussion on Wednesday on how to salvage the Tehran accord and European business dealings with Iran, from Trump's sanctions to how to avoid a trade war in an escalating tariff dispute with the United States.

But she was cautious about possible compensation for companies that do business with Iran.

The news came as French oil giant Total threw in the towel in relation to a multi-billion-dollar project in Iran unless it is granted a waiver by US authorities.

"International companies with interests in many countries make their own choices according to their own interests".

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