France condemns US move to re-impose sanctions on Iran

Published: May 11, 2018 15:07:07 | Updated: May 14, 2018 10:41:12

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France has condemned the US move to re-impose sanctions on companies trading with Iran.

The US says firms have six months to halt business and cannot enter into new contracts or they will face sanctions.

The action from Washington followed US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of a landmark deal that sought to curb Iran's nuclear programme.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said European companies should not have to pay for the US decision, reports BBC.

In an interview with Le Parisien, the foreign minister said, "We feel that the extraterritoriality of their sanction measures are unacceptable.”

“The Europeans should not have to pay for the withdrawal from an agreement by the United States, to which they had themselves contributed," he said.

Parisien said the new sanctions regime would also affect the US and that Europeans would "put in place the necessary measures to protect the interests of our companies and start negotiations with Washington" on the matter.

Le Drian said the commitment of other partners to the Iran deal should be respected.

He said the effects of the US move were already being felt in rising oil costs and an increase in political uncertainty in the Middle East.

France, Britain and Germany have all said they will work with Iran to try to salvage the agreement.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said he would work with affected companies to try to "minimise the negative consequences" of the US move, adding: "That means, it is concretely about damage limitation."

A number of French firms have signed billion dollar agreements with Iran since the nuclear accord was signed in 2015.

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