11:43 GMT25 January 2020
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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The European Union cannot allow Washington to decide on Europe's trading partners, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said on Wednesday, referring to the US sanctions on companies currently engaged in business transactions with Iran.

    "We cannot agree to the United States deciding on the regions where European companies are allowed to do business and develop trade," the prime minister told the RTBF broadcaster.

    According to Michel, the Iran nuclear deal opens channels for a political dialogue to support forces that seek to modernize Iran, strengthen its economy and commit to nuclear de-escalation.

    READ MORE: UN Sec. Council Will Isolate Trump, Not Iran, Against US Wishes — Iran Deputy FM

    The Belgian politician was the first Western leader to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. Starting January, Belgium will join the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member for two years.

    Previously, Rouhani stated at the UN General Assembly session that the US urged other countries to violate the nuclear accord, warning all countries and international organizations against non-compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which supports the JCPOA. US President Donald Trump, in turn, called for isolation of the Iranian government in order to change Tehran's course.

    Earlier in the year, the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and reimposed sanctions against Tehran and any country doing business with Iranian companies. The first batch of restrictions has already taken effect, and the second will come in November.


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    business, sanctions, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), UN Security Council, Charles Michel, Hassan Rouhani, Iran, United States, Belgium
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