UK, France, Germany To Discuss Shielding Firms After US Exits Iran Deal

Anti-American sentiment peaks in Iran after Trump pulls out of deal

Anti-American sentiment peaks in Iran after Trump pulls out of deal

In statements prior to his decision to withdraw from the agreement and to re-impose crippling economic sanctions on Iran, Trump said he had no intention of changing course on a campaign promise that he made almost two years ago when he pledged to reverse his predecessor Barack Obama's landmark accord with Tehran.

Earlier, following his presidential campaign promise, US President Donald Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and vowed to re-impose economic sanctions against Iran.

"At the moment, it's the only diplomatic proposition on the table", French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told Le Parisien newspaper in an interview.

Germany said it would spend the next few months trying to persuade Washington to change its mind.

But European diplomats have sought to play down expectations of Tuesday's meeting, stressing the enormous challenge of finding a way around USA sanctions punishing foreign businesses trading with Iran, which have global reach.

European diplomats acknowledged that the EU support, however honest, risked looking hollow after Trump last week reimposed an array of wide sanctions on the Islamic Republic that will hit European companies investing in Iran. "It depends on the conduct of other governments".

Trump's newly-named National Security Adviser John Bolton said that it is "possible" that the USA would sanction European companies that maintain business dealings with Iran, a statement that received a lukewarm reaction from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said he remained hopeful that Washington and its allies European could strike a new deal with the Iranian government.

A delegation of Iranian experts of various economic fields, headed by Iran's deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araqchi, arrived in Brussels May 14 as well for negotiations on the nuclear deal.

Trump denounced the accord, completed under his predecessor Barack Obama, as a "horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made" as it did not cover Iran's ballistic missile programme or its role in Middle East conflicts. "Now, that will not happen!" Macron told Trump in their telephone call on Saturday that he was anxious about stability in the Middle East, according to Macron's office.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani asked the European Union to stand against the United States' "illegal and illogical" actions, saying that Tehran could stay in the accord only if it fully benefits from it.

The files - declared "authentic" by the U.S. government - document Iran's extensive work on nuclear weapons, including planned site tests, miniaturization of warheads and ballistic missile delivery vehicles.

In the CNN interview, Bolton did not respond directly when asked whether Trump might seek "regime change" in Iran, or whether the U.S. military would be ordered to make a pre-emptive strike against any Iranian nuclear facility. "Let me make it absolutely clear, and once and for all: we will neither outsource our security nor will we renegotiate or add onto a deal we have already implemented in good faith".

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

Tehran has warned it is preparing to resume "industrial-scale" uranium enrichment "without any restrictions" unless Europe can provide solid guarantees that it can maintain the economic benefits it gained from the nuclear agreement despite the United States reimposing sanctions.

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