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While investors are still assessing the full impact of the US withdrawal from the nuclear accord, UBS Group AG said the sanctions could cut Iran's oil exports by as much as 500,000 barrels a day in the next six months.

"We have to work among ourselves in Europe to defend our economic sovereignty", Le Maire told Europe 1 radio.

Oil prices have risen after President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the global nuclear deal with Iran and reignited tensions in the Middle East. Brent crude rose to $77.56 a barrel last night, its highest level since November 2014, on expectations of disruption to oil supplies from Iran, before easing back as investors booked profits. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian stressed the importance of protecting Israel's security but urged a "new path" of negotiations with Iran to calm tensions.

Even the USA needs global partners, she cautioned, saying: "No country is big enough to face this world alone".

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has signaled it is ready...

EUROPEAN BUSINESSES will face the greatest backlash, having invested heavily in Iran's automotive, aviation and oil and gas sectors since the deal went into place.

"The Prime Minister raised the potential impact of United States sanctions on those firms which are now conducting business in Iran".

The Iran nuclear deal can survive without the United States' support, Federica Mogherini, the EU's foreign policy chief, said on Friday.

"This deal is not a bilateral treaty".

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Planemakers Airbus and Boeing, oil companies and auto manufacturers like France's Renault and Peugeot could be among companies hardest hit.

"The US government still has in force numerous unilateral sanctions, largely prohibiting US companies doing business with Iran", it said.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is to hold consultations with Russian Federation and China, the other signatories, before meeting next Tuesday in Brussels with his French, German and British counterparts.

"There is a realisation among all European states what we can not keep going in the direction we are headed today whereby we submit to American decisions", Le Maire told reporters on Europe's response to U.S. sanctions on Iran.

However, Le Maire acknowledged he has "no illusions" that he'll get what he asked for.

The European Commission says that U.S.

"The holy system of the Islamic Republic will step up its missile capabilities day by day so that Israel, this occupying regime, will become sleepless and the nightmare will constantly haunt it that if it does anything foolish, we will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground", he said, according to state television.

Le Maire proposed creating a European body that would have the same kind of powers that the US Justice Department has to punish foreign companies for their trade practices.

Meanwhile, the USA government tried to further pinch Iran's finances by disrupting a currency exchange network allegedly used to transfer millions of dollars to Iran's Revolutionary Guard.


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