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Europe seeks US sanction exemptions for its firms in Iran

In a letter, European ministers from Germany, France and Britain singled out key areas they wanted exempted, including pharmaceuticals, healthcare, energy, automotive, civil aviation, infrastructure and banking.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2L) poses with Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (R), France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (2R) and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini (L) during a meeting in Brussels, on 15 May, 2018. Picture: AFP

BERLIN - European signatories to a nuclear deal with Iran have written to top US officials to stress their commitment to upholding the pact, which Washington has quit, and to urge the United States to spare EU firms active in Iran from secondary sanctions.

In a letter, dated 4 June, European ministers from Germany, France and Britain singled out key areas they wanted exempted, including pharmaceuticals, healthcare, energy, automotive, civil aviation, infrastructure and banking.

“An Iranian withdrawal from the (nuclear agreement) would further unsettle a region where additional conflicts would be disastrous,” said the foreign and finance ministers and top EU diplomat in the letter to the US Treasury Secretary and US Secretary of State seen by Reuters on Wednesday.