US rejects EU request for Iran sanctions relief

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The United States has rejected requests from the European Union to grant exemptions to European companies from its sanctions against Iran. In a letter to European nations, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, the US rejected the appeal because it wants to exert maximum pressure on Iran. The letter said, the US is not in a position to make exceptions to this policy except in very specific circumstances. It also said that Washington will seek to provide unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime.

The sanctions were imposed in May after President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 international agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme. US’s opposition to the deal is at odds with that of France, Germany and the UK, which have pledged their commitment to the nuclear deal.

The EU fears that billions of dollars’ worth of trade could be jeopardised as a result of Washington’s new sanctions.

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