An appeal from Britain, France and Germany to grant broad exemptions to European companies doing business in Iran has been rejected by the United States. Washington says it would press ahead with sanctions intended to exert “unprecedented” economic pressure on the Tehran.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who replied to June 4 letter from the European powers wrote that the Trump administration would not agree to wide-ranging protections for European firms operating in Iran and instead would grant only limited exceptions based on national security or humanitarian grounds, the official said.
The strong message comes at a time where White House accused Tehran of plotting terrorist attacks in Europe and vowed to hammer the country’s economy.
The letter also marks the Trump administration latest dispute in what is seen as an increasingly tense U.S. relationship with its European allies, aggravated by Mr. Trump’s harsh criticism of NATO partners during his visit to Brussels.
The Trump administration pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal on May 8, and plans to reimpose economic sanctions on Iran, including methods design to cut the country’s financial sector from Western banks.
Accoding to U.S. and Western officials, the letter said the Iran nuclear deal had “failed to guarantee the safety of the American people.”