U.S. sanctions 'possible' on European companies doing business with Iran

Posted May 14, 2018

By pulling out of the deal, the United States also undermined the diplomatic efforts to worldwide issues, he added.

Apart from the impact on global security, European firms stand to be badly hit when Trump reimposes sanctions on Iran's nuclear programme which had been suspended under the deal.

White House national security adviser John Bolton says "regime change" in Iran is not now part of the administration's policy, despite his past suggestions that the United States should push for a new government in Tehran. The U.S. exit, together with its threaten to sanction companies economically involved with Tehran, has sparked outrage in Europe.

Both leaders made humiliating pilgrimages to Washington to beg Trump to stick with the Iran deal, only to see him withdraw - and on the eve of "Europe Day", a public holiday for the European Union institutions. Any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States'.

"It's possible", Bolton said.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May raised the issue in a Friday phone call with Trump, a spokesperson for the European leader said.

Not only does Europe want to make the deal work - France, Germany and Britain indicated last week they "will work collectively on a broader framework, covering nuclear activity, the post-2025 period, ballistic activity, and stability in the Middle-East, notably Syria, Yemen, and Iraq". But Bolton left open the possibility that if they do not, the U.S. might sanction foreign corporations that continue to do business with Iran. The White House has said the US will put those sanctions back into place. The announcement triggered US plans to reimpose sanctions on the Islamic Republic within roughly three to six months.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Stated chances to save the bargain with no Washington needed to be discussed with Tehran, while France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said EU countries would suggest sanctions-blocking steps to the European Commission.

'Do we accept extraterritorial sanctions?

"It is time that European states opened the eyes", Le Maire explained on Europe 1 radio. The answer is no.

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Le Maire also proposed creating a European body that would have the same kind of powers that the U.S. Justice Department has to punish foreign companies for their trade practices.

Bolton's comments come despite pledges from European leaders across the board that they will uphold the agreement, even after President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS paid Trump's Scottish resort for VIP hotel stays: report Michael Avenatti tweets, then deletes, Fox News booker's phone number Former Trump aide working with Russian company to lift United States sanctions: report MORE announced last week the USA would no longer honor it.

The US, he said, is not going it alone on Iran. "It depends on the conduct of other governments". We are in regular contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office'.

Asked if the US would consider imposing sanctions on European nations that continue to honor the deal, Bolton said "it's possible". "President Trump's withdrawal is denying them that wealth, denying them the resources to continue their bad behavior, to take the money away from them", he said.

The implications of the USA withdrawal are multi-faceted.

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'You know, Iran is spending money in various countries. They're all friends of mine, ' Trump said.