In an interview with newspaper Le Figaro, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said that the US government has refused to grant a waiver for French companies doing business in Iran in the aftermath of US President Donald Trump’s reimposing sanctions after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal. “We have just received Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s response: it’s negative,” Le Maire said. He added that Europe needed to react quickly and protect its economic sovereignty. “Europe must provide itself with the tools it needs to defend itself against extra-territorial sanctions.”
According to Reuters France sought waivers or extended wind-down periods especially in certain sectors such as energy, banking, automobiles, and pharmaceuticals. The French did not have much hope for getting the waivers but felt they were for crucial for major deals such as Total’s multibillion-dollar gas field development and PSA Group’s auto production joint venture.
The US President had announced his withdrawal from the multilaterally negotiated deal in May. Under that agreement, Iran gained release from UN and EU imposed sanctions in return for suspending its nuclear enrichment program.