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Trump says anyone trading with Iran will not trade with US

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The Mercedes-Benz logo is seen before the company’s annual news conference in Stuttgart, Germany. Reuters

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said yesterday the new US sanctions on Iran were “the most biting sanctions ever imposed”.

“In November they ratchet up to yet another level. Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States. I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, German car and truck manufacturer Daimler (DAIGn.DE) yesterday said it has dropped plans to expand its Iran business in reaction to renewed US sanctions, which come into effect yesterday.

Daimler did not follow the EU in its attempt to protect European companies with a block of the US sanctions on Iran.

“We have ceased our already restricted activities in Iran in accordance with the applicable sanctions”, Daimler told Reuters in a statement.

In early 2016, Daimler established a joint venture with Iranian vehicle manufacturer and dealer Iran Khodro Co to make and distribute Mercedes-Benz trucks in the country.

Daimler had planned to open a representative office in Teheran. It the statement, Daimler states that as for now, neither its car-related nor truck-related activities in Iran had been resumed.

Daimler said it continues to monitor political developments carefully.

German daily Stuttgarter Zeitung was first to report Daimler’s retreat from Iran earlier on Tuesday.

The European Union vowed on Monday to counter Mr Trump’s renewal of sanctions on Iran, in a test of the EU’s ability to preserve a deal that saw Iran limit its nuclear ambitions in exchange for removing strict curbs on its economy.

As Washington’s so-called “snapback” sanctions are reinstated, a new EU law to shield European companies will also take effect to try to mitigate what EU officials say is their “unlawful” reach beyond US borders.

Despite protests from European allies, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would fully enforce the sanctions. EU diplomats said they were awaiting details on Monday on how they will be implemented.

The EU and other parties to the 2015 deal, China and Russia, are working to maintain trade with Iran, which has threatened to stop complying with curbs on its nuclear work if it fails to see the economic benefits of relief from sanctions under the deal.

“We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the US,” the bloc said in a joint statement with the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Britain.

They pledged to work on preserving financial flows and Iran’s oil and gas exports – a lifeline of its economy.

The new measure forbids EU persons from complying with US sanctions or related court rulings and allows for firms to sue in court to recover potential damages from parties who withdraw from contracts due to US sanctions.

The United States is isolated in the world and will regret imposing sanctions on Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday, hours before new sanctions were due to take effect.

“America will regret imposing sanctions on Iran … They are already isolated in the world. They are imposing sanctions on Iranian children, patients and the nation,” Rouhani said in a televised speech.

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