losangelesnewstoday.com May 24, 2018

'With friends like these': European Union chief tears into Trump

17 May 2018, 04:01 | Katrina Lee

'With friends like these': European Union chief tears into Trump

Emmanuel Macron left is greeted by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov as he arrives for a dinner with EU and Western Balkan heads of state at the Sofia Tech Park in Sofia Bulgaria Wednesday

Trump's decision to abandon the 2015 nuclear accord risks exposing European countries that have since invested in Iran to renewed U.S. sanctions, after "wind-down" periods of three to six months expire.

Trump's moving of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem this week has also upset many in the European Union, though the European Union has failed to condemn the move squarely over opposition from the Czech Republic and Hungary that hold a strongly pro-Israeli stance.

President Donald Trump announced last week that the United States would abandon the landmark 2015 accord despite the European powers' sustained efforts to convince Washington to continue to adhere to the deal.

"Given the recent decisions of the President trump, you would think, with such friends don't need enemies", - said Tusk.

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker presented options to protect European investment, which include retaliatory sanctions, allowing the European Investment Bank to invest in Iran, and coordinating euro-denominated credit lines from European governments.

He added, "The EU and USA are friends and partners".

The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, has said the European Union should be grateful to US President Donald Trump, for forcing it to rid itself of all illusions.

British, French and German foreign ministers 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. "The deal is good for European and global security, which is why we must maintain it", he said.

The break with the US over the Iran deal is just the latest in a series of major breaches in the transatlantic relationship.

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While European officials have spoken out against Trump's trade actions before, the language used by Tusk marks a new tone in the relationship. But Trump has also lambasted his European peers by not spending enough on defence, raising doubts among many in Europe about his commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the broader European security.

Major European countries share Trump's concerns, and the EU leaders on Wednesday agreed to seek ways to address them.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel echoed his remarks.

Prime Minister Rutte agrees with that, he said to NOS.

'We will decide on the best way forward in EU-US trade relations. The meeting is due on May 25.

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton indicated on Sunday that the USA would be willing to impose sanctions on any European companies that continue to work or do business with Iran.

Iran said the new United States sanctions were an attempt to derail efforts to save the nuclear deal.

European officials sounded off on the Trump administration's Iran policy on Wednesday, amid signs European companies are prepared to end business dealings with the country instead of incurring possible USA sanctions. "The Iranian nation will resist the USA plots", Iranian news agencies quoted Rohani as saying.

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