EU's Tusk says with friends like Trump, who needs enemies?

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif leaves the EU council headquarters in Brussels Belgium

In bitter comments, Tusk said Trump has rid Europe of "all illusions" with the trade dispute and by pulling out of an worldwide nuclear deal with Iran.

Trump's decision to abandon the 2015 nuclear accord risks exposing European countries that have since invested in Iran to renewed USA sanctions, after "wind-down" periods of three to six months expire.

But thanks to Trump, he said, "we have got rid of all illusions".

At meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Brussels on May 15, Britain, France, Germany vowed to keep the JCPOA alive despite the US withdrawal.

U.S. President Donald Trump has imposed import duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium on grounds of national security, but granted European Union producers a temporary exemption until June 1 pending the outcome of talks. The United States has withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal, posing a threat to European companies doing business there, and has blocked appointments to the World Trade Organization, undermining its ability to settle trade disputes.

New US sanctions would be a significant blow to German companies that actively went to the Iranian market after 2015.

Total said it would wind down operations linked to the South Pars gas venture before November 4 unless it were granted a specific project waiver by the United States authorities, with the support of the French and European authorities.

The violence in Gaza will also be on the agenda as it was "linked to the bigger question of the consequences of the decisions of Donald Trump", an European Union official said.

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But, Nigel warned Tusk he had bigger problems to worry about following news two populist parties in Italy had agreed a deal on most of their coalition programme.

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton indicated on Sunday that the USA would be willing to impose sanctions on any European companies that continue to work or do business with Iran.

"The EU and USA are friends and partners".

"Looking at the latest decisions of Donald Trump, someone could even think: with friends like that who needs enemies". The EU and U.S. are friends and partners, therefore USA tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security'.

The EU and the United States have traditionally been the closest of allies, working together also via North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Earlier on Wednesday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini briefed top officials at the European Commission on talks she had held the previous evening with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his German, French and British counterparts.

Over the dinner of Bulgarian salad, meatballs, buffalo steak and walnut biscuits with berries, May meanwhile was to tell her fellow leaders that Britain was "committed to ensuring the deal is upheld" so long as Iran honours its commitments, her spokeswoman said.

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.

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