Pompeo reaches out to European counterparts amid Iran tensions

US President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet Meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington DC

US President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet Meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington DC

Under the deal, Iran undertakes to curb its nuclear activities and place them under total control of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in exchange for removal of the sanctions imposed previously by the United Nations Security Council, the European Union and the United States over its nuclear program.

White House National Security adviser John Bolton on Sunday said U.S. sanctions on European companies that do business with Iran were "possible, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he remained hopeful Washington and its allies could strike a new nuclear deal with Tehran".

U.S. President Donald Trump said last week that the United States would withdraw from the deal, a landmark agreement signed in 2015 by Iran, Russia, the United States, Britain, China, France and Germany. The foreign ministers of the three European powers will meet their Iranian counterpart in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss a way forward.

Several US military officials told CNN that there are increasing concerns Iran is on the cusp of an attack against Israel.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, speaking in Dublin, declared: "We are stakeholders" and will remain so.

And Germany said it will spend the next few months trying to persuade Washington to change its mind.

"It's not just about the ability of European companies to do business with Iran", recalled O'sullivan, noting that Iran also operating companies from China and Russian Federation. "It depends on the conduct of other governments", Bolton said when asked if the US would impose sanctions on European companies.

Pompeo said he was "hopeful in the days and weeks ahead we can come up with a deal that really works, that really protects the world from Iranian bad behaviour, not just their nuclear program, but their missiles and their malign behaviour as well".

Former Israeli national security adviser Yaakov Amidror
Former Israeli national security adviser Yaakov Amidror

Trump's decision about the Iran deal isn't the only factor driving up oil and gasoline prices, however. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. "Now, that will not happen!"

Germany is ready to help 120 of its firms to keep doing business with Iran, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Friday.

Fellow signatories to the deal have been quick to denounce Trump's decision.

As a private citizen, Bolton in the past has suggested that the U.S. push for a change in Iran's government.

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Major companies, particularly in Europe, could see billions of dollars in commercial deals cancelled because of the USA decision to reinstall sanctions on Iran, though the ultimate impact remains unclear due to the possibility of renegotiations and exemptions, experts say. "He makes the decisions, and the advice I give him is between us".

"It's going to take some time before we can ascertain what the impact will be, because we're going to have to wait and see what the response will be from Europe and how aggressive the USA will be", Brian Gallagher, head of investor relations at Euronav NV, one of the world's largest tanker owners, said by phone. We must, at least, make them worry about their commercial interests with us and link them to their position from imposing sanctions on Iran! "But if we want to stay in this agreement and ensure that Iran stays in this agreement and abides to the terms of the agreement, then we need to talk about this", German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.

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