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France Wants to Defend EU Firms From US Sanctions on Iran - French Minister

© AP Photo / Thibault CamusThe Renault logo is pictured on a Renault Talisman car, in Paris, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016
The Renault logo is pictured on a Renault Talisman car, in Paris, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016 - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - France and the United States have discussed the possibility of further exception of European companies that could be affected by US economic sanctions on Tehran, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.

"I called my US counterpart [Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin] and asked him for either exemption for a number of our companies or longer deadlines," French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told the Europe1 radio network.

The minister stressed that Europe and France wanted to "defend their economic interests," since a number of French enterprises, including Total, Renault, and Sanofi, were based in Iran and could, therefore, be affected by the US measures.

READ MORE: US Imposes New Sanctions on Iran — Treasury

French President Emmanuel Macron, second left, speaks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, and British Prime Minister Theresa May, right, during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, June 22, 2017 - Sputnik International
Germany, UK, France to Remain in Nuclear Deal While Iran Adheres to It - Merkel
On May 8, US President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal. He also vowed to reinstate the sanctions against Iran that were lifted as a result of the agreement.

A diplomatic source in Brussels told Sputnik that the United States' withdrawal might result in extraterritorial sanctions which target European companies that do business with Iran.

In 2015, Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union created the JCPOA, under which international sanctions on Iran would gradually be lifted in exchange for Tehran maintaining the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.

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