European Union chief Tusk asks: 'With friends like Trump, who needs enemies?'

Ignoring European support for the nuclear pact, U.S. President Donald Trump-branded the agreement as "the worst deal ever" and announced on May 8 the United States was pulling out.

A decision by European Union leaders to begin the "blocking statute" process, which aims to neutralize the extraterritorial effects of U.S. sanctions in the European Union, has not stopped companies from pulling out of Iran.

Macron spoke as the Commission, which negotiates trade matters on behalf of the bloc, published a law preparing retaliation.

France, Macron said, backed proposals by the European Commission to protect and compensate European companies that might be hit by USA sanctions for trading with Iran.

Polish President Andrzej Duda speaks to journalists during a press encounter at the United Nations headquarters in New York, May 17, 2018.

On Wednesday, asserting Europe's growing readiness to distance itself from its transatlantic ally, Tusk launched a stinging criticism of the USA president, saying that "with friends like that, who needs enemies".

"With the sanctions the Americans are to impose, you can't do business in Iran if you also have business in the USA, and we have that on a large scale", Skou told Reuters in an interview following the firm's first-quarter report.

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It was also ready to "improve reciprocal market access, for industrial products, including amongst others cars, and liberalisation of public procurement". The 2015 nuclear agreement is a crucial element of peace and security in the region.

EU discussions on how to keep the deal - and economic relations with Iran - alive, have focused on: keeping Iran's oil and gas industry viable; the creation of special objective vehicles to allow for transactions between the regions; developing more contracts between European companies and their Iranian counterparts; and how to protect European firms that continue to work with Iran.

The EU has discussed instituting a so-called blocking statute, which would shield European companies doing business with Iran.

President Donald Trump holds up a proclamation declaring his intention to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement after signing it in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington. "We have pledged to take necessary political steps for our companies to stay in Iran". "I don't know the timing details exactly, but I am certain that we're also going to shut down (in Iran)", he told Reuters.

"We have made a decision to support the Iran deal despite the USA actions". The US dollar's overwhelming position of dominance in the global financial system is one prominent example.

"Trump despises weaklings", EU Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said on Germany's Deutschlandfunk radio.

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