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US offers to work with Europe on new Iran deal, holds out sanctions threat

AFP  |  Washington 

The United States' top said still wants to work with to counter Iran's "malign behaviour" as called his withdrawal from the landmark nuclear deal key to containing

But while talked up the prospect of renewed coordination with America's allies, another top reminded its companies could face sanctions if they continue to do business with the Middle

The development came as Iran's said he was hopeful of forging a "clear future design" for the pact, while speaking in at the start of a diplomatic tour aimed at rescuing it.

Trump's announcement last Tuesday that the US was exiting the 2015 nuclear accord was met with widespread dismay among its other signatories -- China, Russia, France, the Britain and

But said was keen to thrash out a more wide-ranging deal with its European partners.

Pompeo, who is barely a fortnight into his new job, told Sunday that he had been tasked by the "to work to strike a deal that achieves the outcomes that protect " "That's what we are going to do and I will be hard at it with the Europeans in the next several days," said the top US

"I'm hopeful in the days and weeks ahead we can come up with a deal that really works, that really protects the world from Iranian bad behavior, not just their nuclear program, but their missiles and their malign behavior as well.

The administration says the lifting of sanctions as part of the nuclear pact had allowed to build up its military.

weighed in later Sunday, saying his decision would limit Iran's regional ambitions.

"Remember how badly was behaving with the Deal in place," he tweeting. "They were trying to take over the by whatever means necessary. Now, that will not happen!" With Pompeo seemingly assuming the "good cop" role on behalf of the administration, it was left to newly appointed US to remind its firms could be punished if they didn't adhere to American measures.

"It's possible," Bolton said on when asked about the prospect of sanctions. "It depends on the conduct of other governments." "The consequences of American sanctions go way beyond goods shipped by American companies because of our technology licenses to many other countries and businesses around the world. As those sanctions kick in, it will have an even broader effect as well," he said.

"I think the Europeans will see that it's in their interest, ultimately, to come along with us."

While he has committed to remaining in the nuclear agreement, French floated the idea of a supplemental deal on Iran during a recent visit to

Macron and Trump spoke by phone on Saturday, with the US president urging "the need for a comprehensive deal that addresses all aspects of Iran's destabilizing activities in the Middle East," according to a readout of the call.

German leader also told Trump on a visit to Washington late last month that the nuclear deal was insufficient in itself to curb Iran's ambitions in the region.

Although most analysts believe the US withdrawal has effectively scuppered the agreement, Iran's talked up the prospects of its survival on Sunday while visiting China, another of the signatories.

"We hope that with this visit to and other countries we will be able to construct a clear future design for the comprehensive agreement," told reporters after talks in with his Chinese counterpart

Zarif will later fly to and Tehran's chief embarked on the tour as regional tensions spiked just days after unprecedented Israeli strikes in which a monitor said killed at least 11 Iranian pro-regime fighters, triggering fears of a broader conflict between the two arch-enemies.

Iranian hardliners -- who have long opposed President Hassan Rouhani's moves to improve ties with the West -- are already mobilizing against the efforts to save the nuclear deal.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 14 2018. 09:40 IST