In Iran, Europe's big powers enter damage limitation mode

GETTYBruno Le Maire says to ignore Trump's decision about Iran

White House national security adviser John Bolton, who has in the past suggested the US government should push for a change in government in Iran, said on Sunday that is not the Trump administration's current policy.

The remarks from Middle East producers "did force investors to look a little bit more closer at the impact of USA sanctions on Iran and certainly there's some questions about the impact that we'll eventually see", Daniel Hynes, a senior commodities strategist at the Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., said by phone from Sydney.

Pompeo, who is barely a fortnight into his new job, told Fox News Sunday that he had been tasked by the president "to work to strike a deal that achieves the outcomes that protect America".

The or five signatory powers - China, Russia, France, United Kingdom, and Germany - remain in that agreement while Washington reactivates sanctions machinery, opening question of wher USA will penalize European companies with business with Iran.

And after her phone call with the president, a Downing Street spokesman said Mrs May had raised sanctions and re-stated her support for the Iran nuclear deal.

European allies France, the United Kingdom and Germany meanwhile have agreed that pursuing the current nuclear deal with Iran is the best way to stop it developing nuclear weapons. The Treasury Department said on Tuesday that sanctions targeting Iran's oil trade and energy industry will come with a six-month lag.

Pompeo noted that Iran "watched Europe put exactly zero sanctions on their missile program" while the JCPOA was being observed by the U.S.

In the CNN interview, Bolton did not respond directly when asked whether Trump might seek "regime change" in Iran, or whether the U.S. military would be ordered to make a pre-emptive strike against any Iranian nuclear facility.

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The letter concludes: "We stand alongside you [President Trump] in ending the unsafe appeasement of Iran and taking all and any action required to stop Iran going nuclear, help its people, halt its spreading of terror and achieve peace and stability in the Middle East and among all peoples and nations".

"If you look at the advances that Iran has made under cover of this agreement, its conventional military and terrorist advances, in Iraq, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Yemen, since 2015, Iran was really on the march", Bolton told ABC's "This Week".

In a phone call dominated by Iran, the Prime Minister and President agreed to hold talks between the United Kingdom and U.S. governments on the effect ofsanctions on British companies.

Germany's minister for economic affairs, Peter Altmaier, said on Sunday that Berlin will try to "persuade the United States government to change its behavior". On Saturday, French President Emmanuel Macron told Trump in a telephone call that he was anxious about stability in the Middle East, according to Macron's office. Not even halfway past his term, he managed to withdraw from the TTP, a transpacific trade deal aimed at curtailing China's economic influence in Asia, the Paris Accord, a key agreement on tackling climate change, and now the JCPOA, a security arrangement meant to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Asked about past comments of supporting regime change in Iran prior to joining the White House, Bolton said, "I've written and said a lot of things when I was a complete free agent".

Bolton said Europe was still digesting Trump's move last week.

As I said last week, the recent rally in crude and the announcement of sanctions against Iran had all the makings of a "buy the rumor, sell the fact" situation. Efraim Inbar, President of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies, "I do not think they will react immediately, especially since Israel is seen has having American back-up".

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