European Union leaders take joint position on Iran deal, United States trade

Trump enemy EU

European Council President Donald Tusk told reporters: "The problem is if your closest friend is unpredictable".

"They think they can make the Iranian nation surrender by putting pressure on Iran, through sanctions and even threats of war".

He further said, "But frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful to President Trump, because thanks to him we have got rid of all illusions".

Tusk said he wanted the European leaders to "reconfirm" that they will stay in the Iran deal, as long as Tehran respects it - although Europe must now find a way to make up for the U.S. sanctions on Iran that Trump will reactivate. - WTO reform - Europe raised the possibility of backing a drive to reform the World Trade Organization, the global trade watchdog that Trump accuses of being soft on China.

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The E.U. will on Friday begin moves to block the effect of USA sanctions on Iran in the bloc, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said, as part of efforts to preserve the nuclear deal with Tehran.

However, Merkel added: "As for compensating all businesses in a comprehensive way for such measures by the United States of America, I think we can not and must not create illusions".

Listing the traditional problems facing Europe, ranging from the expanding power of China to the belligerence of Russia, Tusk said: "We are witnessing today a new phenomenon, the capricious assertiveness of the American administration".

The leaders will also discuss Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs, which could be slapped on the European Union after June 1. Although the USA unilaterally declared its withdrawal, if all other parties continue to abide by the agreement, economic and trade cooperation among them is legitimate and should be protected. Plus, Iran has learned, as the world has learned, that giving up its defenses like Iraq and Libya did, does not guarantee peace and security; it encourages even more aggression.

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"These talks will be based on the principles of reciprocity and WTO compatibility and with the objective of avoiding a trade war", the source said. Some EU leaders have made a direct link between the move and the killing of nearly 60 Palestinians during protests on the Gaza border.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel echoed his remarks.

It has also said it would respond to tariffs with its own duties on USA products, including motor bikes and whisky.

The Commission has mooted the idea of negotiating an agreement with the United States to lower import duties, but only once the permanent exemption is granted. Tusk, however, responded curtly to Borissov by reminding him that "their problems, per capita, exceed those of Germany and France put together", and later went on to suggest to Borissov that European Union members need to be "consistent and optimistic, but also cautious" when it comes to the question of enlargement. Negotiations proper could be years away.

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Other European firms are likely to make a similar calculation that the United States market is worth much more to them than Iran.

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