Iran's Rouhani says won't surrender to United States pressures -ISNA agency

State Mike Pompeo speaks during a joint press availability with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha after their meeting at the State Department in Washington DC U.S

Europe and Iran sought a common front on Tuesday to save the nuclear deal without the United States, although some diplomats doubted privately it can survive the reimposition of USA sanctions ordered by President Donald Trump.

The US has meanwhile announced new sanctions on Iran, including on the country's central bank head.

Iran's FM Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd R), France's FM Jean-Yves Le Drian (2nd L), Germany FM Heiko Maas (R), EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini and Britain's Foreign Secretary arrive for a meeting of EU/E3 with Iran in Brussels on May 15, 2018. As a result of the deal, many countries began buying more Iranian oil; Iranian exports are up by over a million barrels a day, providing tens of millions of dollars every day for Iran's economy.

Iran's main oil clients in Europe are Italy, France, Greece, Spain, Poland and Turkey.

The European Union is planning to switch payments to the euro for its oil purchases from Iran, eliminating U.S. dollar transactions, a diplomatic source told RIA Novosti.

European oil and gas, aviation, automotive, railways, banking and healthcare industries all jumped to sign deals in Iran as trade liberalised. "He has made us realize that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm", Tusk said in an acid-tongued press statement in Sofia.

She told EUobserver that "from an economic point of view, there is no solution" to protect European Union companies against U.S. measures.

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The crux of the matter is that the yuan-denominated transactions are non-transparent for U.S. financial regulators, the economist pointed out, assuming that Chinese and European consumers could use Shanghai as a "black box" to evade United States sanctions while buying Iranian crude.

On Wednesday night European Union leaders are meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria and the Iranian deal will be at the top of their agenda.

"But in the case of Iran, it would be impossible because United States companies will now stop doing business there", she noted.

Major European powers sought Tuesday to keep Iran committed to a deal to prevent it from building a nuclear bomb despite deep misgivings about Tehran's Middle East politics and President Donald Trump's vehement opposition. But senior Iranian official Ali Akbar Velayati said in Tehran that Iran's defensive missile programme was not negotiable. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, not Rouhani, has the last say on all state matters.

European diplomats acknowledged that the EU support, however honest, risked looking hollow after Trump reimposed an array of wide sanctions last week on Iran that will hit European companies investing there.

"We do have the means and resources, we will use them, let's not kid ourselves they are only limited resources, but we will make full use of all the means that are available to us", said Juncker.

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