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US pressuring German firms ‘daily’ over Iran sanctions

Washington’s ambassador in Berlin has been pressuring German firms “daily” to comply with American sanctions on Iran, a spokeswoman says, even as European governments look to shield their companies from US ire.

Diplomats acknowledging the squeeze on firms followed envoy Richard Grenell’s claim that he had struck a deal with car giant Volkswagen to implement the punitive measures, which VW declined to confirm when contacted by AFP.

“US Ambassador Grenell has been speaking to CEOs and industry leaders for quite some time urging them to comply with US sanctions,” embassy spokeswoman Christina Higgins tells AFP.

“The ambassador has worked daily with the embassy team to do follow-up with individual companies to ensure that CEOs’ commitment is implemented,” she adds.

US President Donald Trump has re-imposed a trade squeeze after withdrawing from a 2015 agreement that relaxed sanctions in exchange for Iran freezing its nuclear weapons program.

— AFP

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