Top EU officials agree joint stance on Iran deal, U.S. trade

SOFIA (Reuters) - The European Union will stick to the Iran deal and the bloc’s leaders have mandated their Brussels-based executive to defend the interests of European companies dealing with Tehran from U.S. sanctions if needed, top EU official said.

“On Iran nuclear deal, we agreed unanimously that the EU will stay in the agreement as long as Iran remains fully committed to it. Additionally the Commission was given a green light to be ready to act whenever European interests are affected,” the chairman of a two-day EU leaders’ summit in the Bulgarian capital, Donald Tusk, told a news conference.

The head of the bloc’s executive European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, told the same conference that the EU was ready to start trade liberalization talks with the United States in some areas if Washington gives permanent exemptions from aluminum and steel tariffs.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska and Ivana Sekularac