European stock markets were down across the board after Donald Trump accused Germany of manipulating its currency.
There was also renewed uncertainty over a diplomatic confrontation over Iran’s missile programme after four European ministers accused Tehran of being on the brink of developing long-range missiles capable of hitting Europe — a violation of a 2015 international agreement.
President Trump last month pulled out of the agreement, siding with his domestic political opponents.
The standoff over long-range ballistic missiles with their near-irregular flight paths, poses a particularly thorny problem in the uncertain regional and geopolitical environment.
Under the agreement, Iran agreed to halt uranium enrichment activities — a key element for producing nuclear fuel.
With the agreement on the fringes of the international diplomatic arena — based on the Iran-P5+1 group of nations — Europe has attempted to salvage it. But now, the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Britain and the United States are pressing Tehran to give more ground, although not in the areas of uranium enrichment and dismantlement of its nuclear research facility.
French President Emmanuel Macron is pursuing talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, while the European Union has said it is working to strengthen an “Iran economic protection” programme.
Meanwhile, the Arab League foreign ministers meeting in Algeria on Wednesday, condemned Iranian interference in various countries in the region.
And Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei added, “The support and protection that countries in the region are getting from me and the Islamic Republic of Iran will not be easy.”