US President Donald Trump warned European companies that they would face secondary sanctions if they violated US restrictions on doing business with Tehran following Washington’s move to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.
The US president said on Sunday that he would not exempt European companies from Iran-related sanctions, suggesting that EU demands for waivers would be ignored.
Asked in a Fox News interview if he would sanction European companies that did business with Iran, Trump responded, “Yes, of course. That’s what we’re doing. Absolutely.”
The refusal to exempt European companies will further inflame tensions between the US and its allies in Europe.
Transatlantic relations have severely deteriorated under Trump over issues from trade to defense spending. Trump also angered some US allies last month when he called on the G7 to readmit Russia as a member.
Trump also accused the EU of being “possibly as bad as China” when it came to the way the European bloc traded with America. Singling out Germany and Scotland, Trump repeated his mantra that “they treat us very badly”.
He also rejected the notion that mounting tension with Europe made it harder to deal with China-related trade issues.
Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was reached in 2015 between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China – plus Germany.
Trump also said he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)