EU TO Defend Firms Against US Iran Sanctions - Macron

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Germany pushed back against Washington's rejection of historic Iran nuclear deal on Wednesday, saying the accord helped world leaders deal with concerns it has with the Islamic Republic.

A day before the start of the next summit of the European Union (EU), the head of the German government said that Iran sticks to the commitments of the pact, as recently confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Earlier, the French president and the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani agreed to continue their joint work with all concerned states in order to keep implementing the nuclear deal and preserve regional stability. The US Treasury Department said it would give European businesses six months to wind up their investments in the country or risk US sanctions - forbidding them from signing new contracts.

"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 said, according to Reuters.

"But what is important is that companies and especially medium-sized companies which are perhaps less exposed to other markets, American or others, can make this choice freely", Emmanuel Macron said.

However, EU officials say there is no easy way to protect EU firms from U.S. sanctions and that it will take time for the bloc to devise what will likely be a complex mix of national and EU-level measures.

On Wednesday, French energy group Total said it would pull out of a multibillion-dollar gas project in Iran if it couldn't secure a waiver from the U.S. sanctions.

"We've had a vibrant discussion on Iran".

Finnish mining technology company Outotec said United States sanctions would slow down and complicate its ties with Iran but it was too early to say if it would leave.

US President Mr Donald Trump announced he was pulling out of a landmark deal curbing Iran's nuclear program and reintroducing sanctions on the Islamic republic and those who trade with it.