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France to Propose Iran Sanctions-Blocking Measures to EU Parl't

France to Propose Iran Sanctions-Blocking Measures to EU Parl't

European businesses have the most to lose from renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran, analysts said Wednesday, with massive sums at stake for some of the continent's big names.

The U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal is now a fact and the market has reacted as expected, namely with a knee-jerk reaction that saw Brent and WTI both jump by over 2 percent a day after President Trump made his announcement and continue climbing up.

U.S. sanctions policy is based on the extra-territoriality of American laws, meaning Washington also punishes foreign companies doing deals with Iran if they also have business with the U.S., or use dollars in their transactions.

"Do we want to be vassals who obey decisions taken by the United States while clinging to the hem of their pants?"

Washington has given European firms doing business in Iran up to six months to wind up investments or risk U.S. sanctions and they are also forbidden from signing any new contracts with Iran.

"You can try to circumvent sanctions, but not if you're a big company", he told AFP.

"These sanctions do impact all the major industries (in Iran)".

And that threat is far from empty.

Thousands later demonstrated across the country to protest Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

The US decision has also closed the door for plane lessors to do business with Iran, which had said that one alternative to get faster jet deliveries would be through leasing options.

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After Trump announced the US withdrawal from the deal on Tuesday, Rouhani warned that Iran would resume uranium enrichment at an even higher rate if the accord collapses.

Airbus has 97 planes for Iran on its backlog.

Mnuchin said it may be possible for some companies over the next three months to seek waivers from the sanctions or new licenses to do business with Iran, but he did not identify which companies.

The only certainty seems to be that the USA decision "does not target what is already in place", said Mahasti Razavi, a lawyer with the August Debouzy firm.

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the US withdrawal from the Iran accord isn't a reason to dump decades of trans-Atlantic ties altogether.

Merkel took a more measured tone. It was created to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb.

European airplane maker Airbus was among the early beneficiaries and seized the opportunity to strike a 22.8 billion euros (US$25 billion) deal for 118 new aircraft to Iran in late January 2016, along with involvement in other operational and support activities locally.

Emma Marcegaglia, head of employers association BusinessEurope, said European companies needed "legal clarity" and were counting on the EU and its member states to assist companies.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that European countries should push back harder against the Trump administration over the Iran nuclear deal and not act as "vassals" of the US.

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