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EU Chief Tusk Slams Trump Over Trade, Iran

EU Chief Tusk Slams Trump Over Trade, Iran

EU President Donald Tusk started the summit by lashing out at Donald Trump.

The 28 anxious EU leaders are gathering in the Bulgarian capital for discussions on how to salvage the nuclear deal and European business dealings with Iran from Trump's sanctions. But U.S. clout in global trade and finance limits their scope for action.

It has also said it would respond to tariffs with its own duties on US products, including motor bikes and whisky.

Washington and Brussels have been at loggerheads over a number of issues since Mr Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, most recently a trade war of aluminium and steel tariffs and the Iran nuclear deal.

"I want leaders to reconfirm that the European Union sticks to the deal as long as Iran does".

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU foreign policy chief will outline to the leaders what measures the bloc could take to shield its now substantial economic interests in Iran, Tusk added.

The EU's hopes have been complicated by the fact that European companies would also be exposed to U.S. sanctions imposed on anyone doing business in Iran.

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 worldwide sanctions on the Islamic Republic in exchange for it curbing its nuclear ambitions.

"The EU and US are friends and partners".

Altmaier said the Europeans should discuss this regardless of any exemption.

The EU is hoping that Iran abide by the agreement as long Tehran receives the economic benefits promised in the deal.

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A top European Union official slammed President Donald Trump over his decision to end the Iran nuclear deal on Wednesday morning.

"Looking at the latest decisions of Donald Trump someone could even think: with friends like that who needs enemies".

While European officials have spoken out against Trump's trade actions before, the language used by Tusk marks a new tone in the relationship.

As Europeans have lost the guarantee that Trump would activate article 5 - the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation clause for mutual defence - they are focusing more on EU's own security policies, the two officials noted.

Major European countries share Trump's concerns but argue that the nuclear deal is the best way to stop the increasingly influential regional power from obtaining an atomic weapon.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel echoed his remarks.

"The question is whether you can talk better if you terminate an agreement or if you stay in it. we say you can talk better if you remain in it", she told the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Iran has so far complied with all of the conditions established under the deal.

The United States imposed sanctions on Tuesday on Iran's central bank governor, three other individuals, and an Iraqi-based bank as Washington seeks to cut off funding it says Tehran is using to fund militant activities overseas.

According to a source from the summit, if the U.S. decides on a permanent exemption for the EU, Brussels would be ready to initiate talks to (1) deepen its energy relationship notably in the field of LNG, (2) voluntary regulatory cooperation, (3) joint work towards WTO reform to level the playing field and works towards mutually acceptable solutions in order to lift the current blockage of the WTO's Appellate Body nominations, and (4) to improve reciprocal market access, for industrial products, including cars, and liberalisation of public procurement.