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"The European Union, especially Germany, France, and United Kingdom, must announce, within the set time limit, their uncompromising stance on how they will guarantee Iran's interests in the JCPOA after USA pullout from the deal", said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, late on Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have discussed efforts to preserve the Iran nuclear deal and prevent an escalation of tensions in the Middle East.

Germany, France have significant trade links with Iran and remain committed to the nuclear agreement, as does Britain, and all three countries' foreign ministers plan to meet on Tuesday to discuss it, reported Reuters. Macron told Rouhani the same a day earlier.

According to Seibert, Merkel was in favour of holding multi-lateral talks with Iran on its ballistic missile program and on its regional incursions, including in Syria and Yemen.

"With Emmanuel Macron, a dynamic young politician has entered the European stage, for whom European integration and the common currency are a clear course", Ms Merkel said. Instead, Europe has to take its destiny into its own hands. "That's the task for the future", she stressed.

Bank of England Hits a 'Temporary Soft Patch'
Most economists polled by Reuters expect the BoE to vote 7-2 to keep rates on hold this month and not raise rates until August. The decision comes despite the Bank's governor, Mark Carney, having earlier signalled that a rate rise was incoming soon.

Pointing to the civil war in Syria, Merkel said that numerous global conflicts today were flaring on the doorstep of Europe.

However, hamstrung by six months of negotiations over forming a new coalition government, Ms Merkel has shown little enthusiasm for the French president's call for a common finance minister or budget.

"We must succeed in building our own sovereignty, which in this region will be the guarantor of stability", he said.

Mrs Merkel admitted to "difficult discussions" between the countries "because our cultures are different" but said that "we will move forward on banking union, capital markets union and reinforce the Euro zone - make it more competitive and more able to face up to crises".