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The United States plans to reintroduce sanctions against Iran, which pumps about 4 per cent of the world's oil, after abandoning a deal reached in late 2015 that limited Tehran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for the removal of USA and European sanctions. The reaction from some in Europe was bitter.

But one thing is clear: it is the United States, not Iran, that has chose to trash the deal, over the strong objections of its European allies. Europe could join the U.S.in re-imposing sanctions in retaliation if it does so.

Several U.S. officials have acknowledged there is no "Plan B" if Washington can not win the support of allies - and Iran - to negotiate a new expanded agreement, which would end Iran's nuclear program, restrain its ballistic missiles program, and curb its support for groups in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq.

Ya'alon, meanwhile, said: "Iran's eyes are fixed on Israel and they are willing to sacrifice a great deal to wipe us off the map".

Yemen's Shiite rebels, the Houthis, have fired a series of missiles into neighbouring Saudi Arabia during the three-year-old conflict, most recently on Wednesday, a day after Trump's announcement.

On Monday, U.S. crude reached $70 a barrel for the first time since November 2014.

"By reimposing our toughest sanctions, now including sanctions on Central Bank that lock down Iran's foreign reserves, we might accelerate Iran's currency crisis to the degree the regime will face very soon a stark choice of economic collapse or behavioral change based on President Trump's demands", said Goldberg, a senior adviser at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

"Europe and China will not fight against the US sanctions".

United States sanctions policy is based on the extra-territoriality of American laws, meaning Washington also punishes foreign companies doing deals with Iran if they also have business with the USA, or use dollars in their transactions.

It is unclear exactly what would happen if the USA walked away from the deal, however Iran has said the U.S. re-imposing sanctions effectively amounts to "killing the deal". "With all the USA production coming into the system, the market would look forward to a glut".

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This resulted in the eight-year-war between Iran and Iraq, leaving both countries in a shambles - in particular Iraq.

The U.S. says the sanctions will also sharply curtail sales of oil by Iran, the world's fifth-largest oil producer.

USA oil production rose to a record 10.7 million barrels a day last week, according to government data.

However, Le Maire acknowledged he has "no illusions" that he'll get what he asked for. "When Modi took office, the price for the Indian crude basket was $108.05 per barrel; just before the Iran deal, it was $57.19 per barrel; and by the end of 2015, it was $33.36 per barrel". Fellow automaker Renault signed a $778 million deal to build 150,000 cars a year at a factory outside of Tehran but has declined to comment so far.

With the world in a "state of chaos", she said the European Union needs to control tensions by preserving the Iran deal. Firms would not be allowed to strike new deals with Iran.

Despite the different tools, two USA officials familiar with Iran policy said they believed Trump's ultimate goal in Iran was similar to the Bush administration's in Iraq: replacing an anti-American government with a friendly one.

For the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel, the rise and consolidation of the Iranian dispensation represents an existential threat. PSA Peugeot Citroen, for example, sold more than 3.6 million vehicles worldwide a year ago. In Iraq, two powerful political alliances expected to win seats in parliamentary elections on Sunday also maintain strong ties to Iran.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries remains committed to a two-year pledge to cut output by 1.8 million bpd jointly with key rivals including Russian Federation.

French exports to Iran doubled last year to €1.5 billion, while German exports rose by €400 million last year to €3 billion.


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