German Chancellor Angela Merkel has acknowledged that the Iran nuclear deal "certainly has weaknesses" but says it should be preserved. "The Europeans should not have to pay for the withdrawal of an agreement by the United States, to which they had themselves contributed".
Maersk Chief Executive Soren Skou said: "With the sanctions the Americans are to impose, you can't do business in Iran if you also have business in the USA, and we have that on a large scale".
Washington has given companies 90 to 180 days to wind up contracts with Iran and banned them from signing new ones, under threat of sanctions.
"I don't know the exact timing details, but I am certain that we're also going to shut down (in Iran)", Skou said.
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that the European Union must protect European Union companies doing business with Iran from USA sanctions.
Macron, voicing understanding for big companies anxious to protect their US sales, said France backed proposals by the European Commission to protect and compensate European companies that might be hit by USA sanctions for trading with Iran.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said before the meeting in Brussels that "the United Kingdom and our European partners continue to view the nuclear deal as vital for our shared security, and remain fully committed to upholding it".
Earlier this week, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced plans to work out practical solutions in response to the U.S. move in the near future.
On May 8, US President Donald Trump refused to keep his country in the nuclear deal, which was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations.
The EU hopes to convince Iran to continue to respect the landmark nuclear pact.
He was due to hold talks later in Brussels with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany.
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