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The Latest: Iranians take to streets over nuke deal pullout


TEHRAN, Iran — The Latest on fallout from U.S. withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets in cities across the country to protest U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the nuclear deal with world powers.

The protests Friday resembled other aggressive but orderly gatherings typical under President Hassan Rouhani, who has tried for a rapprochement with the West.

But while slogans of “Death to America” were few, many Iranians are sincerely angry over Trump’s decision and are siding with hard-liners who long have warned to be suspicious of the West.

Trump pulled America out of the 2015 accord on Tuesday.

Iran said it may resume uranium enrichment in a higher rate in weeks if it finds nuclear deal will not work anymore after the U.S. pullout from the deal.

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2:15 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the unilateral U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal undermines confidence in the global order.

Germany, France and Britain have vowed to keep the 2015 nuclear agreement alive following the U.S. decision to walk away. Merkel noted in a speech Friday in the western German city of Muenster that it took 12 years of work to put together.

She conceded that “it is certainly anything but ideal” and acknowledged that there are many other issues of concern with Iran.

Merkel said: “Nevertheless, I think it is not right to unilaterally cancel a deal that was agreed, that was unilaterally approved in the U.N. Security Council. That diminishes confidence in the international order.”

Pointing also to the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris accord on climate change, Merkel added: “If we always say that, if we don’t like things and we can’t achieve a new international order, everyone will do what they feel like, that’s bad news for the world.”

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12:15 p.m.

France’s finance minister says European countries should push back harder against the Trump administration over the Iran nuclear deal and not act as “vassals” to the U.S.

Bruno Le Maire said Friday on Europe-1 radio that Europe should not accept that the U.S. is the “world’s economic policeman.” He wants European companies to be able to continue trade with Iran despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to re-impose sanctions.

Le Maire proposed creating a European body that would have the same kind of powers that the U.S. Justice Department has to punish foreign companies for their trade practices.

Trump said the 2015 nuclear deal that allowed for the lifting of sanctions wasn’t tough enough on Iran. European countries say Trump’s decision will raise the risk of conflict in the region.

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