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French shippping firm pulls out of Iran due to Trump sanctions

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US President Donald Trump REUTERS/Leah Millis

The world's third-largest container shipping company, France's CMA-CGM, is to pull out of Iran because of the sanctions imposed by Donald Trump when he withdrew the US from the multilateral nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.


"Because of the Trump administration, we have decided to end our service to Iran," Rodolphe Saade told an economic conference in Aix-en-Provence in southern France. "Our Chinese competitors are hesitating a bit, so they may have different relationships with the Trump administration."

CMA-CGM signed a memorandum of understanding with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines to lease spaces for vessels, operate joint shipping lines and cooperate on the use of port terminals.

Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal in May, restoring sanctions against Iran and against foreign companies who do business with it.

He gave foreign companies 180 days to cease activity there.

French carmaker Peugeot has already decided to quit and oil company Total has announced it will withdraw from a huge gas project after failing to win an exemption from Washington.

"You can't head an international group present in 130 countries without having access to American finance," Total boss Patrick Pouyanné told RTL radio on Saturday. "So American law effectively applies and so we have to leave Iran."

Total has written off 40 million dollars (35 million euros) because of the decision, he said. "For Total, which invests 15 billion dollars a year, it's not a lot."