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EU issues warning to European companies that comply with new US sanctions on Iran

The European Union is warning businesses that cut ties with Iran over new U.S. sanctions that they could face EU sanctions.

“If EU companies abide by U.S. secondary sanctions they will, in turn, be sanctioned by the EU," Nathalie Tocci, an aide to the EU’s foreign policy head, told BBC Radio 4 on Monday, according to NBC News.

Tocci said that it was necessary to take those steps “in order to signal, diplomatically, to the Iranians that Europeans are serious" about the Iran nuclear agreement.

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The EU said on Monday that it would “forbid” European entities from complying with the sanctions. The U.S. is reimposing measures previously lifted as part of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which was signed between Iran and China, the EU, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE announced in May that the U.S. would pull out of the agreement; sanctions that were lifted as part of the pact were reinstated Monday.

Federica Mogherini, chief of foreign affairs for the EU, said Tuesday that the countries were doing its "best to keep Iran in the deal, to keep Iran benefiting from the economic benefits that the agreement brings to the people of Iran," according to NBC News.

The EU foreign service said in a statement Monday that officials “deeply regret” that the U.S. reimposed sanctions against Iran.

Trump said last week that he would be open to meeting with Iranian leaders without preconditions, a statement undercut by Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoIMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' MORE just hours later when he set the terms for such a meeting.

The president also tweeted over the weekend that the decision as to whether he will meet with Iranian leaders is "up to them," saying it "doesn't matter."