Pierre Lellouche, former French secretary of state for foreign trade, said that France currently has to "deal with legal imperialism on the part of the US, which uses a thick wall of laws against foreign companies."
"All this certainly deprives European countries of their [economic] sovereignty," he underlined.
Lellouche warned that if Europe does not react to Washington's anti-Iranian sanctions-related decision and accepts it, it would show that "Europe does not exist and will no longer participate in resolving the world's most important political issues, even when they directly affect the security of 500 million Europeans."
According to him, "you cannot pretend that these sanctions have come as a surprise because the US has been using them for 40 years now."
Lellouche recalled that as far as foreign policy is concerned, the opinions of his European allies have never been taken into account by the US president.
"The visits that the Europeans paid to the White House have yielded no results and we should not delude ourselves about it. If we continue to play the role of those who beg Trump to make an exception for us, we will risk being greatly disappointed," he pointed out.
Lellouche insisted that "the only thing Trump and the US Congress will stick to is the show of strength by the Europeans."
"Therefore, it is absolutely necessary for [French] President Macron to achieve a firm position from other European countries or adopt relevant laws that could neutralize American sanctions," he added.
He concluded by saying that Europeans should make Washington "respect them" and that Europe "must make it clear to the US that it cannot bow down to the decisions taken by the White House unilaterally."
In a speech delivered on May 10, Macron spoke of "European sovereignty," urging not to show "weakness" with respect to other states. Earlier, he visited the US to meet President Trump and try to convince him of staying within the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal.
The White House has given French and European companies three to 18 months to leave Iran and cease all relations with the Islamic Republic.
On May 8, US President Donald Trump announced Washington's decision to withdraw from the JCPOA. He also pledged to reinstate the sanctions against Iran that were lifted as a result of the agreement.
The views and opinions expressed by Pierre Lellouche are those of the analyst and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.