United States move on Iran threatens €143m Irish export trade

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Mohammad Javad Zarif said he had held a "constructive" meeting in Brussels with his European counterparts, including Boris Johnson, following Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the pact.

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

Europeans have sought to play down expectations of Tuesday's meeting, stressing the enormous challenge of finding a way around United States sanctions punishing foreign businesses trading with Iran, which have global reach.

Among them is the possible use of an EU "blocking regulation" which would, in essence, ban European companies from respecting American sanctions where those sanctions might damage EU interests, notably trade and the movement of capital. "It depends on the conduct of other governments".

So far, China, France, Russia, Britain, Germany and Iran remain in the accord, which placed controls on Iran's nuclear program and relaxed some sanctions against Iran.

The Iran deal, named as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed in July 2015 in Vienna by USA, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and European Union.

The Iranian Foreign Minister is expected today in Brussels, the final stage of a diplomatic tour promoted in response to US President Donald Trump's decision to end the nuclear agreement (JCPOA) signed in 2015.

Ominous was the response of Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, who was quoted as saying the U.S. "no longer wants to cooperate with other parts in the world", and that it is now turning its back on multilateral relations "with a ferocity that can only surprise us".

"I heard one of the primary industry representatives postulating that it might mean, if nothing else, that it's more hard to increase exports to iran who, of course, used to be a much larger trading partner of New Zealand than they are even now", Mr Parker said. The minister said he wanted France, Germany and Britain to reach out to the USA administration and ask for "exemptions, additional deadlines, or to respect the contracts that have been agreed in good faith by our businesses in Iran".

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"Unfortunately getting out of the Iran agreement, I think we're now starting from scratch with Iran", Paul said, adding he thought there was "potential" to add more to the agreement before Trump's decision to exit unilaterally from the deal.

European firms, especially those from France and Germany, rushed to invest in Iran following the 2015 accord, under which Tehran agreed to freeze its nuclear programme in return for an end to punishing worldwide sanctions.

In recent days, Tehran's head of diplomacy visited Moscow and Beijing, receiving full support for the nuclear agreement from their respective leaders.

Bolton said Europe was still digesting Trump's May 8 move.

"The only way to avoid pain from these sanctions is negotiating with the U.S., but the instruments are not easy to find", Volker Treier, deputy managing director of Germany's Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said in an interview.

Germany - along with France and Britain - has said it remains committed to the nuclear deal.

"I want to stress we are under no illusion about the stuff Iran gets up to in the region, in the Middle East". The Trump administration has many pro-Israel and anti-Iran officials.

She said: "Boris Johnson will be here in Brussels together with the foreign ministers of Germany and France to work together to preserve a deal we have achieved together - also with Russian Federation and China - and we will save it together".

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