U.S. ‘Allies’ France, Germany, and Britain Seek Exemption from Iran Sanctions

French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel share a joke as they arrive for the start of an EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia on May 17, 2018. - European Union leaders will meet their Balkan counterparts to hold out the promise of closer …

Germany, France, and Britain joined the EU to plead for special “ally” status to exempt them from U.S. trade sanctions on Iran.

“As allies, we expect that the United States will refrain from taking action to harm Europe’s security interests,” read the letter of claim sent to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said the three countries and the EU were asking for special treatment “to exempt European businesses doing legitimate trade in Iran from all extraterritorial American sanctions.”

“We ask the American authorities, in a letter signed with Germany, the UK and EU to exempt European businesses doing legitimate trade in Iran from all extraterritorial American sanctions. Those businesses must be able to pursue their activities,” he wrote by way of preamble on Twitter.

The plea follows Tuesday’s announcement by the EU that Iran’s plan to boost uranium enrichment capacity did not breach its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal brokered by Washington.

The EU is working to save the agreement with Iran (formally known as the JCPOA) after the U.S. pulled out. It warned that while the Iranian announcement would not help build confidence in the program, it did not constitute a breach of the deal.

Now that the EU and partners Germany, France, and Britain realise President Trump will go ahead with the ban, they are pleading for special status so they can continue trading with the Islamic Republic.

Several major companies including France’s Total and the Netherlands’ Maersk have already said it will be impossible to stay in Iran once the sanctions are fully reimposed over the next six months, unless they receive explicit exemptions from Washington.

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