European Union united on Iran deal, will talk with US - Merkel

EU head criticizes Trump for hostile policies

EU head criticizes Trump for hostile policies

Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst The strain now being placed on the historic relationship between the western European states and the U.S was highlighted by the former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson who was US secretary of state before being fired over Twitter by President Trump.

Forget the Nobel Peace Prize; Trump has made himself a ideal candidate to get the "credit" if the world plunges into a devastating war tomorrow.

Tusk's unusually biting criticism of Trump on Wednesday highlighted the deep trans-Atlantic split: "Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, someone could even think: With friends like that, who needs enemies?".

Meanwhile, Iran's oil minister said that Chinese state-owned oil company CNPC was ready to replace Total on a major gas field project in Iran. On May 9 Iranian forces fired rockets from inside Syria towards Israel, triggering a robust military response from Israeli military-targeting Iranian military assets in Syria.

EC will maintain its cooperation with Iran while the US Treasury Department has recently announced to European companies that they have been given a six-month deadline to end their investment in Iran.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker at the dinner on Wednesday night described the state of play in recent talks between trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström and her USA counterpart, Wilbur Ross.

Trump's actions since he came into office have signaled disregard for Europe. Even India said that all parties involved in the nuclear deal should respect the country's right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy and work together to resolve the matter through dialogue and diplomacy.

"You said that the problem with Iran, in the past, and maybe today and tomorrow, is unpredictability".

French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday that one reason for the efforts to prop up the Iran deal is "so that our businesses can remain" in Iran. Instead of toeing the US' call, France, Germany and the United Kingdom maintained that they were considering counter measures to allow their firms to keep trading with Iran. Other EU officials have hinted at other measures to support Iran economically.

"We have to do whatever we can and that's what we're working with".

First is the scrapping of the crucial Iran nuclear deal of 2015 also known Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA.

This speaks volume of Trump's failure as a leader to guide his nation to a successful foreign policy path.

The EU leaders were also due to discuss the deaths of dozens of Palestinians in Gaza after Trump moved the United States embassy to Jerusalem, in another move that the Europeans had strongly opposed, but there were no details on that discussion. Instead, the US-Israel tango has pushed Iran to look towards India, Europe, China and Russian Federation for succor.

"Under the prerequisite of not violating its worldwide obligations, the Chinese side will continue to carry out normal and transparent practical cooperation with Iran", said foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.

According to the source, they reaffirmed that they will "not negotiate with a gun at its head", but they said they are ready to talk with the USA once its decides on a permanent tariffs exemption for the EU.

The use of the statute to protect business in Cuba eventually saw the USA back down and agree to European Union companies continuing to pursue commerce on the island.

Earlier in the day, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also stressed the importance of preserving relations with Washington despite what she called "all the difficulties we have had in the past few days".

Russian companies also traded with Iran when USA sanctions were in place before the deal. "We are closely monitoring the developments".

Such a move would be a blow to President Hassan Rouhani, who had hoped the prestigious project could make other worldwide businesses regain confidence in Iran and bring in investment.

EU discussions on how to keep the deal - and economic relations with Iran - alive, have focused on: keeping Iran's oil and gas industry viable; the creation of special goal vehicles to allow for transactions between the regions; developing more contracts between European companies and their Iranian counterparts; and how to protect European firms that continue to work with Iran.

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