21:33 GMT06 June 2020
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    Commenting on the US giving up to 18 months to European companies to leave Iran after the resumption of Washington's sanctions against Tehran, the former French secretary of state for foreign trade told Sputnik that France and other European countries lack the resolve to uphold their economic sovereignty.

    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."

    READ MORE: White House: US to Impose Additional Sanctions Against Iran Next Week

    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.

    READ MORE: France to Propose Iran Sanctions-Blocking Measures to EU Parl't — Official

    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."

    READ MORE: Any New Sanctions Against Iran to Violate UNSC Resolution 2231 — Rouhani

    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.

    In another development last week, US National Security Adviser John Bolton told CNN news that the White House does not exclude sanctions against EU companies for cooperation with Tehran after Washington's exit from the JCPOA.

    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.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    foreign policy, issues, laws, sanctions, Iran nuclear deal, Emmanuel Macron, Donald Trump, Iran, France, United States
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