"International companies active in Iran face the threat of US sanctions within weeks after Washington rebuffed a high-level European plea to exempt crucial industries to help keep a landmark nuclear deal with Tehran alive," the Financial Times reported.
France, Britain, Germany and the European Union had on June 6 sent US President Donald Trump's administration a joint official request for their companies to be exempt from the fresh US sanctions on Iran.
The plea had come as European leaders scrambled to save the hard-fought deal signed between Iran and world powers in 2015 under which Tehran agreed to limit its nuclear capacities in exchange for relief from crippling economic sanctions.
Trump announced he was abandoning the deal in May -- paving the way for new sanctions on the Islamic republic and punitive measures for those who trade with it.
In a formal letter, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin refused to grant the European powers the waiver they had asked for, the Financial Times reported, citing diplomats.
French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire had already said the United States would not grant Europe its request.
"We have just received the answer, and it's negative," he said. Washington's refusal came as Trump called Europe a foe in trade and renewed accusations that the EU was taking advantage of the US.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)