Zarif: US foreign policy 'imprisoned by delusions and failed policies'

Zarif: US foreign policy 'imprisoned by delusions and failed policies'

USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo has threatened Iran with "the strongest sanctions in history" as he issued demands that he said should be included in a nuclear treaty with Iran to replace the Obama-era deal. Pompeo also cautioned European firms against continuing to do business in Tehran, toughening up the United States policy line after its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear pact this month despite intense diplomatic efforts by Washington's European allies.

If Washington sees tangible shifts in Iran's policies, it is prepared to lift sanctions, Pompeo said.

"The sting of sanctions will only grow more painful if the regime does not change course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen for itself and the people of Iran", Pompeo said. "Iran has never paid attention to sanctions and has stood on its own feet", he added.

The European Union largely dismissed Pompeo's speech and said it remained committed to the full implementation of the nuclear deal.

At the same time, Pompeo offered Iran a series of dramatic potential USA concessions if it agrees to make "major changes". Nearly all big companies which made deals with Iran are withdrawing quickly despite the possible losses they may suffer.

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.

Pompeo said he wanted a new deal with Iran, but his 12 demands on ending Iran's regional interventions and missile programme are considered a non-starter by the government, particularly in the way they were presented.

Pompeo acknowledges that the new policy will impact the U.S. and other nations, who will lose money as a result, and America is willing to listen to her allies and aware some of the allies will prefer to continue working with the old agreement.

He warned that the United States would "crush" Iranian operatives and allies overseas and told Tehran to pull out forces under its command from the Syrian civil war where they back President Bashar Assad.

"We will hold those doing prohibited business in Iran to account", he said.

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Iran must also "release all United States citizens" missing in Iran or being held on "spurious charges", he said. (2) I will work closely with the Department of Defense to Deter Iranian aggression.

Pompeo's list of demands were wide-ranging, a reflection of the Trump administration's multipronged criticism of the Iran nuclear deal. "There is no alternative to the JCPOA".

Rouhani called for the solidarity and unity among the Iranians to counter the US pressures.

"You just have to ask, how are you going to get overwhelming pressure on Iran to submit to this radical all-encompassing set of requirements if your sanctions coverage is pretty patchy?" explained a senior European diplomat, who was granted anonymity to speak frankly.

Whatever Trump may eventually decide to do, he should not claim to do it in the name of "the long-suffering people of Iran".

Jannati is probably one of the most hardline ayatollahs in Iran; he heads not only the Assembly of Experts, charged with choosing and replacing the supreme leader, but also the Guardian Council, which is responsible for vetting candidates during the elections. "One with dubious prospects for success", she said.

Kowsari said that the Iranian people back Soleimani. Iran has displaced over six million Syrians in Syria and caused 5 million to seek new venues for housing.

He said that today they must show their strength in the face of American pressure.

On May 18, the European Commission proposed to let EU members make payments for oil directly to the Iranian Central Bank to bypass U.S. sanctions.

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