Donald Tusk condemns Trump administration as 'capricious'


European ministers met with a top Iranian official in Brussels on Tuesday in a bid to save the Iranian nuclear accord after Trump chose to pull out. "Following last week's announcement of the United States withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, we need a united European front", he wrote. Thanks to him we got rid of all illusions.

The EU's 28 leaders are due to discuss two challenges that Trump has confronted them with: his decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, and the US threat to impose tariffs on metal imports. "But at the same time, we must be prepared for those scenarios, where we will have to act on our own", said Tusk, a former Polish prime minister.

The 28 European Union leaders are meeting for dinner on the eve of a summit to discuss closer ties with the Western Balkans, but tensions with Trump have hijacked the agenda.

"The role of the EU is absolutely essential", he said, "And so my appeal here in Brussels is for the the European Union to be more and more united, more and more effective, more and more present and for its voice to be more and more heard in global relations".

The break with the US over the Iran deal is just the latest in a series of major breaches in the transatlantic relationship.

European leaders have scrambled to salvage the 2015 agreement in which Iran agreed to halt its nuclear program, a landmark deal that many Europeans see as essential for their security.

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Washington and Brussels have been at loggerheads over a number of issues since Mr Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, most recently a trade war of aluminium and steel tariffs and the Iran nuclear deal.

European leaders are troubled by Trump's "America first" rhetoric and inconsistent statements on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the EU. Therefore U.S. tariffs can not be justified on the basis of national security. But at the news conference in Sofia, he was clearly not in any joking mood. "It is absurd to even think that the European Union could be a threat to the United States", he continued.

Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel have resolved to stick with the joint comprehensive plan of action with Iran, despite the threats of U.S. sanctions against European businesses.

"We need to bring reality back to this discussion, which is not the case today", he said.

Speaking to reporters in Sofia, Mr Tusk said the US President had "made us realise that if you need a helping hand, you all find one at the end of your arm".

"I would like our debate to reconfirm without any doubt that as long as Iran respects the provisions of the deal, the European Union will also respect it", Tusk said.