Macron calls up Trump, expresses worry over his Iran nuclear deal move

Total said it might quit a multi-billion-dollar gas project if it could not secure a waiver from US sanctions. Tehran had repeatedly hailed the project as a symbol of the nuclear accord’s success. REUTERS  Charles Platiau

"The 2015 deal is an important element of peace and security in the region, and we chose to back it regardless of the USA decision", he stressed. "We have opted to support it whatever the USA decides to do", said the French president on arrival at the Sofia summit. The US Treasury Department said it would give European businesses six months to wind up their investments in the country or risk US sanctions - forbidding them from signing new contracts.

On Wednesday, French energy group Total said it would pull out of a multibillion-dollar gas project in Iran if it couldn't secure a waiver from the United States sanctions.

On May 8, US President Donald Trump declared Washington's withdrawal from the JCPOA, a deal that restricted Tehran's nuclear developments in exchange for the abolishment of corresponding sanctions of the UN Security Council and unilateral restrictive measures earlier introduced by the US and EU.

France, Macron said, backed proposals by the European Commission to protect and compensate European companies that might be hit by United States sanctions for trading with Iran.

Attributions of so-called "General Licence H" allowing subsidiaries of U.S. companies to deal with Iran will be revoked, the source said.

"I don't know the exact timing details, but I am certain that we're also going to shut down (in Iran)", Skou told Reuters in an interview following Maersk's first-quarter earnings.

Macron, voicing understanding for big companies anxious to protect their US sales, said France backed proposals by the European Commission to protect and compensate European companies that might be hit by USA sanctions for trading with Iran.

Merkel defended this Wednesday before the legislators the validity and importance of the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed in 2015 between Iran and six global powers (China, United States, France, United Kingdom, Russia, and Germany).

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