EU TO Defend Firms Against US Iran Sanctions - Macron

Secretary of State in charge of Gender Equality in France Marlene Schiappa | Andreas Rentz  Getty Images

Secretary of State in charge of Gender Equality in France Marlene Schiappa | Andreas Rentz Getty Images

U.S. officials have threatened to sanction European companies that keep doing business with Iran, even though those nations are obliged to do so under the nuclear deal they are still a part of.

French President Emmanuel Macron said that nuclear deal with Iran should be supplemented and it is necessary to continue negotiations, including on missile program.

Siemens is a major German company with multiple Iran infrastructure deals.

US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the JCPOA, which was reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the US, Britain, France, Russia and China - plus Germany in 2015.

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Washington has given companies 90 to 180 days to wind up contracts with Iran and banned them from signing new ones, under threat of sanctions.

Earlier this week, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced plans to work out practical solutions in response to the U.S. move in the near future.

Following the meeting, Mogherini told reporters that European top diplomats had agreed to follow through the Iran nuclear deal despite Trump's decision to withdraw.

Iran has said it may start enriching uranium again if it can no longer see any economic benefit from sticking to the deal, which lifted earlier global sanctions on the Islamic Republic in exchange for it curbing its nuclear ambitions.

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"We are determined to ensure that the JCPOA stays in place".

She noted that similar willingness has been expressed by the European and Iranian sides.

The Iran nuclear deal needs to be not only maintained but also expanded so that it will address the missile issue and Iran's role in the region, French President Emmanuel Macron said upon arrival to the EU - Western Balkans summit in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.

Merkel defended the deal in remarks to the Bundestag before the travelled to Sofia.

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