USA sanctions to hit Iran's automotive, aircraft sectors first: French government source

French President Emmanuel Macron waves to someone in the crowd as he and US President Donald Trump conclude their joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington US

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"International companies with interests in many countries make their own choices according to their own interests".

Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron called up United States President Donald Trump to say he's very anxious about tensions in the Middle East after Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord. The US Treasury Department said it would give European businesses six months to wind up their investments in the country or risk US sanctions - forbidding them from signing new contracts.

"But what is important is that companies and especially medium-sized companies which are perhaps less exposed to other markets, American or others, can make this choice freely", Emmanuel Macron said.

On Wednesday, French energy group Total said it would pull out of a multibillion-dollar gas project in Iran if it couldn't secure a waiver from the United States sanctions.

Ignoring European support for the nuclear pact, U.S. President Donald Trump branded the agreement as "the worst deal ever" and announced on May 8 the United States was pulling out.

She added: "Britain, France and Germany were of the opinion that the agreement against Iran's nuclear armament is an agreement that certainly has weaknesses, but an agreement we should stand by". "But we still think that, with the agreement, we would have better preconditions to speak with Iran about further agreements than by unilaterally canceling an agreement that was unanimously approved and endorsed in the U.N. Security Council".

Shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk on Thursday joined a growing list of companies preparing to call a halt to doing business with Iran, casting doubts on whether European leaders can keep alive a nuclear deal with Tehran.

But the reach of the USA financial system, the dominance of the dollar and the presence of European companies' operations in the United States all weaken any potential EU measures.

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