Trump threatens to hit EU with sanctions in row over Iran

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“Engaging in activities that run afoul of US sanctions can result in severe consequences”

Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence

President Donald Trump has taken a strong line against the authoritarian regime, scrapping a deal with Islamic Republic struck by his predecessor Barack Obama.

Trump says the country is continuing to develop nuclear weapons and that allowing it to sell oil and other goods will help fund its terrorist proxy group Hezbollah and those fighting in Yemen.

However, the EU has feuded with Trump’s administration over how to control an aggressive Iran.

The EU claims the deal dissuades Iran from continuing it’s nuclear program and helps the Iranian people – and they have found ways to ignore Trump’s calls to isolate the nation.

Trump EU Iran

ORDER: Trump has slammed the EU for buying Iranian goods (Pic: GETTY )

Iran nuclear

ARMED: The trade deal struck by Iran was supposed to pause Iran’s nuclear ambitions (Pic: GETTY)

But now, the US says they will hammer INSTEX, a financial body created by Germany, the UK and France to shield trade with the Iran from the sanctions reintroduced by Trump.

Leaked letters from earlier this month, seen by Bloomberg, reveal a top US counter-terror official has made the confrontational plan.

Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, has said anyone associated INSTEX it could be barred from the US financial system.

If the plan is activated, the organisation, the acts as a European vehicle to sustain trade with Iran, would become hard to sustain.

Iran Europan Union

TALKS: The Iranian Foreign minister and European Union Foreign Policy Chief met last year (Pic: GETTY)

AGGRESSIVE: Iranian-backed troops are fighting across the Middle East (Pic: GETTY)

“I urge you to carefully consider the potential sanctions exposure of Instex,” warned Mandelker in the letter to Instex boss Per Fischer.

“Engaging in activities that run afoul of US sanctions can result in severe consequences, including a loss of access to the US financial system.”

The EU’s top diplomat Federica Mogherini spoke openly earlier this month about how she was plotting ways to sidestep US sanctions with foreign ministers of France, Germany and the UK.

“We discussed the ways in which we can further advance, for instance, on the operationalization of INSTEX to have transactions in the hopefully next few weeks,” Mogherini said.

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