European Union chief Tusk asks: 'With friends like Trump, who needs enemies?'

EU Must Defend Firms against US Iran Sanctions: Macron

Earlier on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron, who had tried and failed to persuade Trump not to abandon the Iran deal, also asserted Europe's readiness to dismiss U.S. demands, saying companies should make their own choices.

"But frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful to President Trump".

Asked on arrival at a summit of European Union leaders in Bulgaria if he was concerned about an announcement by French oil major Total that it may pull out of Iran after Washington pulled out of the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Macron said it was up to firms active in various markets to make their own decisions, Reuters reported.

On Wednesday, asserting Europe's growing readiness to distance itself from its transatlantic ally, Tusk launched a stinging criticism of the U.S. president, saying that "with friends like that, who needs enemies". Although Iranian oil exports have recovered from Western sanctions that preceded the deal to restrict its nuclear development, exports from Venezuela have plummeted.

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The deal will be an all-cash deal and is expected to be closed by third quarter of the current financial year. The transaction ranks as the largest acquisition in PayPal's history, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The EU's proposals are its most assertive yet in dealing with the United States, whose withdrawal from the 2015 agreement threatens to scupper the treaty and has anxious leaders it could put Iran back on a path to developing nuclear weapons. "We have pledged to take necessary political steps for our companies to stay in Iran". She highlighted the importance of deepening economic relations with Iran, including in the area of energy supplies. "No one will choose Iran over the US The deal is dead".

Hu Weijia - EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini is scheduled to meet with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany on Tuesday to discuss the Iran nuclear deal.

"Which company is going to risk access to the U.S. market, which is 100 times larger", Ardavan Amir-Alsani, a Paris-based lawyer who specialises in Iran, said in an interview. "If we back down step by step, if we acquiesce, if we become a kind of junior partner of the United States, then we will be lost".

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