Zarif Urges Europe to ‘Expert Sovereignty’ in Face of US Threats

Zarif Urges Europe to 'Expert Sovereignty' in Face of US Threats

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged Europe to exercise sovereignty in the face of US President Donald Trump’s excessive demands and threats.

“Sorry to say I told you so: When E3 sold out remnants of #JCPOA to avoid Trump tariffs last week, I warned that it would only whet his appetite. After selling their integrity and losing any moral/legal ground, ANOTHER tariff threat. EU would do better to exert its sovereignty,” Zarif tweeted on Wednesday.

The tweet came after Trump said Tuesday that he is not bluffing about the possibility of slapping tariffs on European cars just days after reaching an initial trade deal with China.

“They know that I’m going to put tariffs on them if they don’t make a deal that’s a fair deal,” the US president told The Wall Street Journal about ongoing trade negotiations with the European Union. Trump’s threat to put tariffs on a key European export — and once again ratchet up trade tensions with the economic bloc — has sparked backlash from European officials and companies. The White House has repeatedly delayed a decision on whether to put tariffs on cars from Europe. Trump did not reveal a deadline for his tariff decision.

A week before Germany, France and Britain formally accused Iran of breaching the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Trump administration issued a private threat to the Europeans. If they refused to call out Tehran and initiate an arcane dispute mechanism in the deal, the United States would impose a 25 percent tariff on European automobiles, the Trump officials warned, according to unnamed European officials.

 

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