Bolton warns sanctions possible for businesses dealing with Iran

Trump delivers a statement on the Iran nuclear deal from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House Tuesday

Trump delivers a statement on the Iran nuclear deal from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House Tuesday

Russian media further cited Zarif as saying that Tehran and Moscow would do their utmost to keep the Iran deal in place less than a week after US President Donald Trump announced Washington's withdrawal from the JCPOA despite earlier worldwide warnings and pleas for the White House not to attack yet another global agreement.

However, Mr Mianji said he viewed the solidarity of the EU countries as a promising sign of the union's loyalty to the nuclear agreement and opposition of Mr Trump's sanctions. They called on the US not to prohibit the future success of the deal, despite its withdrawal.

Germany's minister for economic affairs Peter Altmaier said last week that Berlin will try to "persuade the U.S. government to change its behaviour".

"That can be achieved through talks and by explaining that everybody will be losing in the end if we are running into a worldwide escalation of unilateral measures", Altmaier added.

Iran's main concern is that renewed US sanctions will have a far-reaching impact on the willingness of non-American companies and banks to deal with Iran, crippling its trade, oil exports and an already strained economy.

Sanctions on European companies that do business with Iran after the USA withdrawal from the nuclear deal are "possible", White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Sunday.

Under the deal signed in Vienna with six world powers - China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the US, Germany, and the European Union - Iran scaled back its uranium enrichment programme and promised not to pursue nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

"Unfortunately once again we see that Washington is trying to revise key worldwide agreements as it happens to Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as it happens to Jerusalem (al-Quds) problem and a number of other agreements", the top Russian diplomat said.

Since the easing of sanctions against Iran in early 2016, German exports to the country have jumped by more than 40 percent, with machinery and vehicles high in demand.

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Trump's move to ditch the nuclear deal has infuriated Washington's allies in Europe as well as China and Russian Federation.

Following his meeting with Zarif on Sunday, China's foreign minister said Beijing would "work to maintain the [nuclear] deal", state news agency Xinhua reported.

"The final aim of these negotiations is to seek assurances that the interests of the Iranian nation will be defended", Zarif said at the start of a meeting.

When asked whether the United States might impose sanctions on European companies that continue to do business with Iran, Bolton told CNN: "It's possible".

Senior EU politicians recently threatened that the 28-nation bloc is ready to challenge any move that may harm their businesses in the Iranian market at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

So far, China, France, Russia, Britain, the European Union and Iran remain in the accord, which placed controls on Iran's nuclear program and led to a relaxation of USA economic sanctions against Iran and companies doing business there.

A number of voices in Iran have suggested the deal is unlikely to survive.

Trump denounced the accord, completed under his predecessor Barack Obama, as a "horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made" as it did not cover Iran's ballistic missile programme or its role in Middle East conflicts.

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