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Iran deal: Belgian businesses fear future

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Iran deal: Belgian businesses fear future

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Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal is set to hit businesses on the other side of the Atlantic, here in Europe.

Belgium exports to Iran totalled more than half a billion euros in 2017.

No wonder then, that its businesses have got the jitters about US sanctions.

"There is this fear of direct punishment and then also the psychological aspect, the fear of retaliation on the part of the US in the context of relations companies would also have with their American partners," said Pascale Delcomminette, Executive Director of the AWEX trade organisation.

"Here again with this denunciation of the accord by the American president and by the announcement of sanctions will obviously will make them even more frosty and so it will become even more complicated for our company to finalise agreements they were negotiating with Iranian partners."

Pascale says the EU needs to stand up and step in to help companies now facing uncertain trading ties.

"Europe really needs to think about regaining its leadership and to use all its tools to protect companies from possible American sanctions in the framework of the extra-territorial principle.

"There is indeed a mechanism called EU blocking regulations which allows Europe to activate this arsenal for protecting businesses from possible American sanctions."