European Union miffed with United States for leaving Iran nuclear deal

With friends like Donald Trump, who needs enemies: European Union chief

With friends like Donald Trump, who needs enemies: European Union chief

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.

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

At the start of an EU summit in Bulgaria, the European council president offered a withering condemnation of Trump's White House. Thanks to him we got rid of all illusions. "He has made us realize that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm".

On Iran, the leaders expressed backing for a plan including "EU support for JCPoA, as long as Iran respects the deal", the source said, referring to the deal's formal name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Tusk said the European Union must be more united than ever before to face off against Trump's "capricious assertiveness".

The President of the European Council slammed the US President, warning Trump is a bad friends who acts with "capricious assertiveness".

The options include protecting European companies dealing with Iran from USA sanctions, allowing the European Investment Bank to invest in Iran and coordinating euro-denominated credit lines from EU states.

Meanwhile in Brussels, the foreign ministers of France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Iran met and agreed to a nine-point plan to try and preserve the Iran deal by making sure trade ties are not disrupted.




"I will propose we stick to our guns", Tusk said.

However he described the European Union as a "friend and partner" and added the bloc must strive to protect transatlantic ties. Therefore US tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security.

But the reach of the U.S. financial system, the dominance of the dollar and the presence of European companies' operations in the United States all weaken any potential EU measures.

Tusk said the United States appeared to be hesitating in hitting European companies doing business in Iran with sanctions, but the bloc still needed to be ready to protect its interests.

European Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said the EU was willing to a so-called blocking statute that would make it illegal for European companies to comply with United States sanctions imposed on Iran and not recognize USA court decisions that enforce American sanctions.

Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel have resolved to stick with the joint comprehensive plan of action with Iran, despite the threats of USA sanctions against European businesses.

British, French and German foreign ministers, along with the EU's top diplomat, vowed to try to keep Iran's oil and investment flowing after a meeting with their Iranian counterpart on Tuesday, but admitted they would struggle to provide the guarantees Tehran seeks.

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