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The Day Europe Told the U.S. to Cut Out the Threats Over Iran

  • U.K., Germany, France told U.S. its tactics were unacceptable
  • Trump trade warning rattles beleaguered U.S.-EU relationship
March in Tehran for Iranian Commander Killed in U.S. Airstrike
Photographer: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg

European diplomats drew a line in the sand this month, telling U.S. officials their bullying tactics wouldn’t help marshal support for President Donald Trump’s Iran policy.

The firm response came in a conference call in early January when a senior State Department official threatened European car makers would be hit with tariffs unless the European Union backed Trump’s hard line. Diplomats from Germany, France and the U.K. said that such tactics were completely unacceptable and would not help the president achieve his goals, according to U.S. and European officials familiar with the exchange.