Trump sets up fresh stand-off with the EU over Iran sanctions

The EU has pledged to protect Iran from the worst effects of the sanctions

Trump sets up fresh stand-off with the EU over Iran sanctions

US President Donald Trump smiles at a rally in Ohio, 04-08-2018. Image: Carolyn Kaster/AP/Press Association Images

US President Donald Trump has set up another stand-off with the EU after attempting to warn the world against doing business with Iran.

President Trump fired out the warning in a tweet this morning.

It comes after he officially confirmed the re-imposition of US sanctions on Tehran - months after pulling the US out of the Iran nuclear deal.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), agreed in 2015 between Iran and six global powers, restricted the country’s nuclear program in exchange for relief on economic sanctions.

President Trump has made no secret of his contempt for what he has called a “horrible, one-sided deal,” however his stance has highlighted the growing divide between the US and its traditional allies.

This morning, he claimed his new sanctions represent “the most biting sanctions ever imposed” and warned they will “ratchet up to yet another level” in November.

“Anyone doing business with Iran will not be doing business with the United States,” he warned.

“I am asking for world peace, nothing less.”

The threat will raise eyebrows in the EU – where ministers have already pledged to protect businesses working in Iran from the fallout of the US decision.

In a statement yesterday, the foreign ministers of the EU, Germany, France and the UK said they “deeply regret” the sanctions.

They noted that 11 consecutive reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have confirmed that the Iran deal is “working and delivering on its goal.”

“It is a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, crucial for the security of Europe, the region, and the entire world,” they said.

They said the lifting of sanctions as part of the deal, “aims at having a positive impact not only on trade and economic relations with Iran, but most importantly on the lives of the Iranian people.”

“We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran,” they said.

The EU also announced an updated ‘Blocking Statute’ aimed at mitigating the impact of the US sanctions on Iran and European companies engaged in legitimate business with Iran.

The remaining signatories to the agreement have also pledged to preserve and maintain “effective financial channels with Iran” and ensure the continuation of Iran’s export of oil and gas.

The statement warns that the remaining signatories expect Iran to honour the agreement.

“Preserving the nuclear deal with Iran is a matter of respecting international agreements and a matter of international security,” reads the statement.