快3开户网址_US sanctions target Iran funding
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EU foreign ministers will meet to try to salvage nuclear accord
The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions against six individuals and three companies it said were funneling millions of dollars to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard's elite Quds Force, just days after President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
The Treasury Department, acting with the United Arab Emirates where those companies were located, said it had disrupted the large network's operations, and accused Iran's central bank of helping the group access dollars held in foreign banks to sidestep Western sanctions.
"The Iranian government and its central bank have abused access to entities in the UAE to acquire US dollars to fund the IRGC-QF's malign activities, including to fund and arm its regional proxy groups, by concealing the purpose for which the US dollars were acquired," US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
Trump's move on Tuesday has sparked global outcry for its potential undermining of the treaty and the unilateral imposition of long-arm jurisdiction that would cost other nations' economic interests.
France's finance minister said European countries should push back harder against the Trump administration over the nuclear deal and not act as "vassals" to the US.
Bruno Le Maire said on Friday on Europe-1 radio that Europe should not accept that the US is the "world's economic policeman". He wants European companies to be able to continue trade with Iran despite Trump's decision to reimpose sanctions.
Le Maire proposed creating a European body that would have the same kind of powers the US Justice Department has to punish foreign companies for their trade practices.
Meanwhile, Germany is ready to help minimize the impact on its businesses of Trump's decision to pull the US out of the 2015 accord, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Friday.
"We are ready to talk to all the companies concerned about what we can do to minimize the negative consequences," Altmaier told Deutschlandfunk radio.
Of tensions with the US over the Iran issue, Altmaier said: "It is rather like the trade conflict with regard to the announced tariffs for steel and aluminum. ... We must avoid entering into a spiral of escalation."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Iran's President Hassan Rouhani in a telephone call on Thursday that she supported maintaining the nuclear accord as long as Teheran upheld its side of the deal.
Foreign ministers from the European Union members are expected to meet in London on Monday to try to save the Iran nuclear, the Guardian reported on Thursday.
The meeting is being arranged at a time when Rouhani said Europe had a "very limited opportunity" to save the landmark deal.
EU ministers hope to put forward a credible package to allay Iranian fears about the effect of Trump's decision on EU-Iranian trade, the newspaper said.
AFP, AP, Xinhua and Reuters contributed to this story.