Trump’s national security advisor says ‘it’s possible’ US will sanction European companies that do business with Iran

  • Companies in affected industries have between 90 days and six months to wind down operations in Iran or run the risk of facing stiff U.S. penalties
    National Security Advisor John Bolton said Sunday that ‘it’s possible’ the Trump administration will impose sanctions on companies that don’t play ball
  • European leaders are lobbying the Trump administration not reimpose external sanctions that could hurt their economies
  • Trump himself said in October that he told Frances’s Macron and the UK’s May ‘take all the money you can get’ from Iran

Donald Trump‘s national security advisor refused on Sunday to say whether the United States would punish European companies that do not cease their business operations in Iran by the end of this year.

Companies within affected industries between 90 days and six months to wind down operations in Iran or run the risk of facing stiff penalties now that the United States is no longer a party to an international accord that lifted sanctions on Tehran.

National Security Advisor John Bolton said on CNN‘s ‘State of the Union’ that ‘it’s possible’ the Trump administration will impose sanctions on companies that run afoul of the new U.S. policies.

‘It depends on the conduct of other governments,’ he stated.

Donald Trump's national security advisor refused on Sunday to say whether the United States would punish European companies that do not cease their business operations in Iran by the end of this year

Donald Trump’s national security advisor refused on Sunday to say whether the United States would punish European companies that do not cease their business operations in Iran by the end of this year

European leaders are committed to remaining in the agreement with Tehran that lifted economic sanctions on the Middle Eastern country so long as it abided by the terms of a 2015 nuclear deal.

But a host of companies are now faced with the prospect of doing business with U.S. or protecting their interests in Tehran.

In his remarks announcing the United States’ withdraw from the deal, President Trump threatened, ‘We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction. Any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States.’

Bolton said in a briefing with reporters immediately after the Tuesday announcement that it would be up to the Treasury Department to determine which affected companies, if any, would get a pass.

British Prime Minister Theresa May raised the issue in a Friday phone call with Trump, a spokesperson for the European leader said.

‘The Prime Minister reiterated the Government’s position on the Iran nuclear deal, noting that we and our European partners remain firmly committed to ensuring the deal is upheld, as the best way of preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

‘The Prime Minister raised the potential impact of US sanctions on those firms which are currently conducting business in Iran.’

Donald Trump last night tore up the Iran nuclear deal, which could force Britain's biggest businesses out of the country

Donald Trump last night tore up the Iran nuclear deal, which could force Britain’s biggest businesses out of the country

Major British businesses with interests in Iran include Rolls-Royce, Vodafone and British Airways. UK companies have invested £450 billion into Tehran since the U.S. and Europe lifted sanctions after the signing of the accord with partners Russia and China.

Finance ministers in France and Germany pushed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to grant extensions or waivers to businesses that made lucrative deals with Tehran in the period that sanctions were lifted.

Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, said European states will also try to impose sanctions-blocking measures through the European Commission.

‘Do we accept extraterritorial sanctions? The answer is no,’ Le Maire said.

‘Do we accept that the United States is the economic gendarme of the planet? The answer is no. Do we accept the vassalization of Europe in commercial matters? The answer is no.’

Le Maire is seeking exemptions for Renault, Total, Sanofi, Danone and Peugeot and other companies already doing business with Tehran.

Trump’s new ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, suggested that exemptions were unlikely, saying Thursday, ‘German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately.’

Trump announces withdrawal of US from Iran nuclear deal

European companies did not have an immediate have a reaction to possibility that they would have to cease operations in Iran or be barred from doing business with the U.S. other than to say in statements that they were monitoring the situation.

‘We are examining the announcement and its potential implications,’ Rolls Royce said. ‘We conduct business in all countries, including Iran, in accordance with all relevant UK, EU or other national sanctions and export control regulations.’

British Airways, which operates six flights a week between London Heathrow and Tehran, said, ‘We constantly review our network to ensure that our routes match our customers’ needs and are commercially viable. ​ ​We are in regular contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.’

Trump’s tough talk now on sanctions is at odds with what he told France’s Emmanuel Macon and May just six months ago as he moved toward yanking the U.S. out of the deal.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/


Turkey recalls envoys to US, Israel over embassy move

By Nicole Gaouette and Michelle Kosinski — CNN May 15, 2018

At least 12 Palestinains killed

Turkey is recalling its ambassadors to the US and Israel in an official protest of the Trump administration’s decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, citing Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag, said the envoys were being called back, the report was confirmed by the Turkish embassy in Washington.

Asked how long the recall would last, a spokesperson for the Turkish Embassy said “we don’t know at this stage” adding that the US ambassador was recalled for “consultations.”

In recent days, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been harshly critical of the US decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The holy city has long been considered such a fraught and thorny issue that international negotiators had agreed to leave the question of Jerusalem to final status negotiations.

Erdogan said Monday that the United States’ decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv shows that the US prefers “to become part of the problem rather than the solution.”

“With this last step [the embassy move] the United States has lost its role as mediator in the Middle East peace process,” Erdogan said in London Monday.

Speaking at Chatham House, the Turkish leader continued by saying that the move on Monday is a “most unfortunate decision to execute. We once again reject this decision that violates international law.”

Turkish state media Anadolu reported via Twitter that Bozdag also said Turkey’s foreign ministry has called for a UN General Assembly meeting on the issue.

During his remarks in London, Erdogan was also quoted by Anadolu as saying “Israel is a terrorist state” and “what Israel is doing is a genocide.” At least 55 Palestinians have been killed in clashes along the Gaza-Israeli border, and some 2,700 injured. White House officials have placed the blame squarely on Hamas.

 

Source


‘Provocative Military Ruckus’: North Korea Warns US-South Korea War Games Could Derail Trump-Kim Summit

Canceling high-level talks scheduled with counterparts in Seoul this week, Pyongyang urges Trump administration to “undertake careful deliberations” about how military exercises could negatively diplomatic progress

planes

North Korea is warning that ongoing military drills by the U.S. and South Korean air forces could jeopardize a summit scheduled for June. (Photo: National Museum of the U.S. Navy/Flickr/cc)

Pointing to “provocative” military drills the U.S. and South Korean air forces are conducting in the region, North Korea is warning that the war games could jeopardize a highly anticipated summit scheduled to take place in Singapore next month, which is supposed to bring together the North’s leader, Kim Jong Un, and U.S. President Donald Trump.

The warning came as the North abruptly canceled a Wednesday meeting with representatives from South Korea just hours in advance. Denouncing the “Max Thunder” joint drills that kicked off on Friday, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the North’s state media, said:

This exercise targeting us, which is being carried out across South Korea, is a flagrant challenge to the Panmunjom Declaration and an intentional military provocation running counter to the positive political development on the Korean Peninsula…

The United States will also have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-U.S. summit in light of this provocative military ruckus jointly conducted with the South Korean authorities.

The Associated Press reports that representatives at the Wednesday meeting were planning “to discuss setting up military and Red Cross talks aimed at reducing border tension and restarting reunions between families separated by the Korean War.”

Following KCNA’s announcement, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the Trump administration had not heard anything from the North or South Korean governments “to indicate that we would not continue conducting these exercises or that we would not continue planning for our meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un next month.”

The development comes as North Korea proceeds with its plans to destroy Punggye-ri, the complex where the country has conducted all of its known nuclear tests, ahead of the June 12 summit with Trump. The North has said it will invite foreign reporters—including some from the United States—to witness the dismantlement, which is set to occur sometime next week.

KCNA, citing a Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement, reported that “dismantlement of the nuclear test ground will be done in the following sequence—making all tunnels of the test ground collapse by explosion; completely blocking entries; removing all observation facilities, research institutes and structures of guard units on the ground.”

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