Iran rejects US' threatening remarks against its nuclear programme

Emmett Rice
May 23, 2018

Pompeo's list of 12 "basic requirements" if Iran wants relief from punishing sanctions Trump plans to reimpose brought a swift rebuff from Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, who said that it was "unacceptable" for the dictate to Iran and the world, and from a top official of the European Union. "The [Iranian] regime has been fighting all over the Middle East for years".

Rouhani compared the comments as akin to those made by the administration of George W. Bush ahead of the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Europe's energy chief will seek to reassure Iran's top ministers on Saturday that the European Union wants to keep trade open despite the USA withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

But then the Trump administration has repeatedly shown it will hurt both friend and foe, and ignore the larger geopolitical picture, in pursuit of disruptive policies.

Iran poured scorn on threatened USA sanctions on Tuesday and told European powers to step up and salvage its global nuclear deal - though Germany signalled there was only so much it could do to fend off Washington's economic clout. It's safe to say that while New Delhi will comply with the sanctions, it won't be excited about being enlisted. "The leaders in Tehran will have no doubt about our seriousness", Pompeo said in a speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank.

Consequently, Trump's misguided decision to move the U.S. out of the JCPOA and increase pressure and sanctions on Iran could end up having disastrous consequences not only for Iran and its people, but also the already turbulent Middle East.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the sort of "jumbo Iran deal" Pompeo envisioned would not be "very easy to achieve in anything like a reasonable timescale".

The new secretary of state, now in his fourth week in office, made clear that the United States was prepared to square off with Europe, using secondary sanctions against companies that do business in Iran.

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It was a pointed response to Mr Pompeo, who issued a list of 12 demands addressing Iran's policies in the Middle East and its ballistic missile programme following the unilateral United States withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

Yet the USA withdrawal from the JCPOA is unlikely to trigger any change in Iran that would be beneficial to Washington.

She recalled that the Iran nuclear deal is "the result of more than a decade of complex and delicate negotiations", touting the JCPOA as "the best possible outcome, striking the right balance". The demands are created to shut the door on negotiations, not open it. But will it lead to regime change? Pompeo spoke on the topic of "After the Deal: A New Iran Strategy". Therefore, before anything else they must do something to make the JCPOA beneficial to Iran. It they make the decision quickly, that would be wonderful.

European nations, as well as Russian Federation and China, are vowing to stand by the deal - formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - that Iran reached with six world powers and are trying to insulate their companies from the promised sanctions even though that's an uphill effort.

Iran was deemed in compliance of the JCPOA, including by the Trump administration.

"Who are you to decide for Iran and the world?", Rouhani was quoted saying by the Iranian news agency ILNA.

"We will help where we can, but there is no way of completely averting the consequences of this unilateral withdrawal", he said.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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