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17 May 2018, 01:34 | Tara Lloyd
EU Chief Tusk Slams Trump Over Trade, Iran
At a dinner in Bulgaria's capital Sofia on May 16, European Union leaders will discuss recent global developments including US President Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the recent violence in Gaza and Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminium.
But frankly, European Union should be grateful.
Total (TOTF.PA) said it might quit a multi-billion-dollar gas project if it could not secure a waiver from USA sanctions. "But we need to be sure that we have done everything in our power, and within the limits of the worldwide trade rules, to avoid a negative scenario", Tusk said.
Trump has recently confirmed that the United States would abandon the accord with Iran signed by his predecessor Barack Obama in 2015, and renew the sanctions on Iran which the pact had ended.
The head of the bloc's executive, Jean-Claude Juncker of the European Commission, has also presented options the leaders have to shield European investments in Iran and the slowly reviving economic cooperation, which many EU states hope to benefit from.
But, Nigel warned Tusk he had bigger problems to worry about following news two populist parties in Italy had agreed a deal on most of their coalition programme.
They tasked experts with coming up with measures for a meeting of their deputies in Vienna next week.
"The extra-territorial dimension of USA sanctions is unacceptable". The Europeans, majority USA allies in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, say they pose no security threat and that it is simply an excuse to break with the rules-based order of the World Trade Organization. "But frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful to President Trump, because thanks to him we have got rid of all illusions".
Tusk pointed to some of Trump's latest decisions before concluding, "someone could even think with friends like that, who needs enemies". Tusk told a news conference.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Iran has so far complied with all of the conditions established under the deal.
The United States imposed sanctions on Tuesday on Iran's central bank governor, three other individuals, and an Iraqi-based bank as Washington seeks to cut off funding it says Tehran is using to fund militant activities overseas.
The EU's top energy and climate official, Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, is heading to Iran on May 18-21 for talks on energy cooperation, a symbolic gesture from the EU that it wants to stay engaged despite the USA withdrawal.
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