Nuclear Deal: US can also withdraw from other agreements

US President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet Meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington DC

White House national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday that "it's possible" there will be secondary sanctions imposed on European companies as a result of the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

The EU, which with Germany, France, Britain, Russia, China and the United States signed the nuclear accord, does have some steps it can take to shield European business in Iran.

"The withdrawal wasn't aimed at the Europeans", Pompeo told "Fox News Sunday". He said that he would work to protect European businesses from being hit by USA measures if they continue to trade with Iran.

Pre-existing U.S. sanctions against Iran have hit European Union firms, with large fines imposed since 2009 on European Union banks with USA subsidiaries, such as HSBC, Standard Chartered, ING, Barclays, Credit Suisse BNP and Lloyds.

Several Iranian officials told Reuters that as long as Iran could sell its oil and get its money, the deal remained alive.

Rohani is asking the European powers for guarantees that the benefits will continue in the future - something that is possible only if European businesses are able to continue operating in Iran. "Now, that will not happen!"

He said that because of the deal, Iran was able to take advantage of turmoil in the region to advance its interests all across the Middle East, in Iraq, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Yemen, so that the consequences of being able to sell Iranian oil without restriction on the global market were providing them resources not just for their nuclear programme, not just as the world's central banker of worldwide terrorism, but conventional hostilities across the region as well. European diplomats have complained that the Trump administration pulled out of the Iran agreement when they were still eager to continue consultations and without explaining Washington's new nuclear demands on Tehran.

The danger that military tensions in the Middle East will mount after the United States decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal is growing, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said, speaking at the meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club.

In other words, Iran will play the victim card, particularly when Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif meets with European signatories in Brussels on Tuesday.

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China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said he believed Mr. Zarif's tour would "improve countries'. understanding of Iran's position." and help Tehran protect its "legitimate national interests".

The White House said Trump had spoken with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday and "reiterated the need for a comprehensive deal that addresses all aspects of Iran's destabilizing activity in the Middle East".

Before leaving, Zarif published a government statement on his Twitter page, slamming the "extremist administration" of USA president Donald Trump for abandoning "an accord recognised as a victory of diplomacy by the worldwide community".

Tehran's chief diplomat embarked on the tour as regional tensions spiked just days after unprecedented Israeli strikes in Syria which a monitor said killed at least 11 Iranian pro-regime fighters, triggering fears of a broader conflict between the two arch-enemies.

Iran has reacted furiously to the U.S. pulling out of the deal, with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accusing Mr Trump of threatening its government and its people.

Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of the Revolutionary Guards, said the country could not rely on the West.

Possible measures include reviving an EU-wide blocking regulation from 1996, which was meant to prevent United States sanctions from affecting European firms trading with Cuba, Libya and Iran. They include retaliatory sanctions, allowing the European Investment Bank to invest directly in Iran and coordinating euro-denominated credit lines from European governments.

The deal expected the Iranian government to abide by three key things - to reduce the centrifuges used to process uranium, slash the stockpile of enriched uranium by 98 per cent and cap uranium enrichment by 3.67 per cent, enough to keep nuclear power plants going but inadequate for making a nuclear warhead.

But analysts said Iran was determined to maintain the moral high ground in the coming weeks.

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