European companies 'protected' from United States sanctions following Iran nuclear row

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The sanctions that went into effect on Tuesday target Iranian access to United States banknotes and key economic sectors including cars and carpets.

Trump announced in May that he was pulling the U.S. out of the 2015 nuclear deal, a key foreign policy legacy of his predecessor Barack Obama, which saw some economic sanctions against Iran lifted in exchange for limits on the country's nuclear programme.

"I remain open to reaching a more comprehensive deal that addresses the full range of the regime's malign activities, including its ballistic missile program and its support for terrorism", Trump said in a statement.

The other parties to the 2015 nuclear agreement - Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation - say Iran was abiding by its commitments and have vowed to salvage the deal by ensuring economic benefits continue to flow to the country. European allies say they "deeply regret" the US action.

Trump decided this year to pull out of the agreement, ignoring pleas from the other world powers that had co-sponsored the deal, including Washington's main European allies Britain, France and Germany, as well as Russian Federation and China. "That's the ask", said Pompeo on Sunday ahead of the re-imposition.

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President Trump said on Monday the USA was "fully committed to enforcing all of our sanctions" and would aim "to ensure complete compliance".

"If there is sincerity, Iran has always welcomed dialogue and negotiations", Rouhani said, according to CNN.

In Washington, senior administration officials said that while critics of Trump's withdrawal from the Iran pact predicted that the threat of unilateral sanctions reimposed by the United States would be ineffective, the reality has shown the opposite.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says he's willing to talk to the U.S.

European enterprises can either comply with U.S. sanctions and face consequences in Europe for violating the "blocking statute" or keep doing business in Iran and face United States sanctions.

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"If the ayatollahs want to get out from under the squeeze, they should come and sit down".

"Do you think this person (Trump) is a good and suitable person to negotiate with?"

Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt has moved to reassure businesses they will not face legal action in connection with deals with Iranian firms. "But talks need honesty".

"No Iranian politician can risk negotiating with the president who trashed the outcome of 12 years of negotiations over the nuclear issue and can't come to any lasting agreement with his own party and US's traditional allies", he said.

The European Commission said it will grant exceptions if the company can prove that it is leaving Iran for reasons not linked to the USA threat. But most Iranians have yet to see major economic improvement, and the prospect that Washington would re-impose sanctions helped drive a collapse in the value of Iran's currency this year, raising the cost of imports.

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