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Macron: EU summit decides to back Iran deal, protect European businesses

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Macron's spoke as the world's largest container shipping firm, A.P. Moller-Maersk, followed the French oil major in saying it would quit Iran, denting EU efforts to save the nuclear accord with Tehran and protect European companies doing business with the Islamic Republic. "They should continue to have this freedom", he added".

German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized in the lower house of parliament (Bundestag), the withdrawal of the U.S. government from the nuclear agreement with Iran.

On May 11, Merkel criticized the decision of US President Donald Trump to withdraw the United States from the agreement with Iran, as she said, 'it is wrong to unilaterally cancel a pact unanimously approved by the Security Council of United Nations'.

Total SA, a French oil giant, said Wednesday it had halted work on an Iranian natural-gas project and warned it may have to pull out altogether from its plan to invest $1 billion in the field.

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CEO Soren Skou told Reuters on Thursday that A.P. Moller-Maersk was following suit.

European Union experts have begun work drawing up measures to shield the deal from U.S. sanctions, focusing on nine key issues including ensuring Iran can sell its oil and gas products and have access to worldwide finance.

The United States will re-establish sanctions against Iran progressively, kicking off with the automobile and civil aviation sectors, a source close to the French government said on Tuesday.

Finnish mining technology company Outotec said US sanctions would slow down and complicate its ties with Iran but it was too early to say if it would leave. He also vowed to reinstate the sanctions against Iran that were lifted as a result of the agreement.

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