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            february 20, 2019

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CMA CGM withdraws Iran service due to threat of US sanctions


The US administration's decision to renew sanctions on businesses operating in Iran has prompted French shipping giant CMA CGM to end its service to the country.
"Our Chinese competitors are hesitating a bit, so they may have different relationships with the Trump administration but we apply the rules," chief executive Rodolphe Saade told an economic conference in Aix-en-Provence in southern France.
Mr Saade added that his company's cooperation agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines allowing it to lease spaces for vessels, operate joint shipping lines and cooperate on the use of port terminals had also been suspended, reported Radio Free Europe.
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has called on European Union leaders to do more to offset US actions to protect his country's economy.
"The Europeans always show their goodwill [in the nuclear dispute], but in the end, pragmatic decisions and steps are necessary," Mr Rohani told his cabinet after he met with EU leaders in Vienna.
In recent weeks, several major European companies have said they will exit Iran unless US sanctions are waived.
Last month European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran - France, Britain and Germany, as well as the European Union - called on the United States to spare EU firms doing business with Iran from punitive measures.

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