France: Europe isn’t U.S. “vassal,” Europe to push back against ‘unacceptable’ US sanctions on Iran

France’s economy minister Bruno Le Maire urged European nations Friday to defend themselves against US sanctions targeting foreign companies that trade with Iran, as the rift between Washington and its allies deepens. Le Maire said the European Union had to defend its “economic sovereignty” when it comes to the right to trade with Iran, FRANCE24 reports.

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran accord isn’t a reason to dump decades of trans-Atlantic ties altogether.

The back and forth Friday came as thousands of Iranians took to the streets in cities across the country to protest President Trump’s decision.