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European Leaders Discuss Shielding Companies Doing Business With Iran

BELGIUM -- European Union leaders in the eurogroup meet during a round table at an EU summit in Brussels, March 23, 2018

Reuters reported from Brussels on May 15 that European Union leaders will discuss on Wednesday shielding European companies doing business with Iran from U.S. sanctions, a senior official said as the bloc is in damage control mode following Washington's withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Tehran.

The senior EU official said the heads of bloc's executive European Commission and the foreign service, Jean-Claude Juncker and Federica Mogherini, will brief all 28 EU leaders on options available when they meet over dinner in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, on Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has met with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini Tuesday morning as the Europeans seek to keep the Iran nuclear agreement, AP reported.

Zarif said little to reporters Tuesday but suggested he wanted to discuss the deaths of dozens of Palestinians in Gaza as well as the nuclear deal, which U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from last week.

Zarif was due to hold talks later in Brussels with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany.

The EU hopes to convince Iran to continue to respect the landmark nuclear pact.

With reporting by Reuters and AP.