Europe compromise on Iran a long way off, German FM says

Javier Stokes
May 24, 2018

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wants to meet with European allies in the next few weeks to discuss a comprehensive strategy towards Iran after the withdrawal of the US from the worldwide nuclear agreement with Tehran.

Iran's supreme leader also blasted the United States for its withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

The conditions include countering USA sanctions on Iran, protecting Iranian oil sales, and European banks guaranteeing financial cooperation with Iran.

The move came as the three countries scramble to salvage the accord in the wake of the US's withdrawal.

Iran is one of the world's largest oil producers, and the export of oil and gas is worth billions of dollars each year.

Mr Pompeo's plan would start with "unprecedented financial pressure" aimed at getting Iran back to the negotiating table, and Mr Pompeo said specialists would be sent to allied countries to explain the United States approach.

The Leader also set out conditions for Tehran to stay in the nuclear deal with world powers, including steps by European banks to safeguard trade with Tehran after the U.S. withdrawal from the agreement.

European powers see the accord as the best chance of stopping Tehran acquiring a nuclear weapon.

"During the last two years, the United States violated the JCPOA several times, and Europe remained silent".

"I think we're far away from a compromise", Maas said.

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Khamenei also fired a new broadside at Washington's rejection of the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement, saying the Islamic Republic could not deal with a country that failed to keep its commitments.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday warned Tehran would be hit with the "strongest sanctions in history" and cautioned European firms against continuing to do business with it, toughening up Washington's policy line after its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

"From the beginning of the [victory of the Islamic] Revolution to the present day, the United States has carried out various types of hostilities to undermine the Islamic Republic and has organized various types of political, economic, military and propaganda activities against it", the Leader said, Press TV reported.

"The current USA president [Donald Trump] will meet the same fate as his predecessors, Bush and the neoconservatives and Reagan, and will vanish from history", he said in the statement released on Tuesday.

He threatened to impose the "strongest sanctions in history" ever on Iran.

Pompeo tells the House Foreign Affairs Committee that he is planning a meeting in early to mid-June with "a number of partners" including Britain, France and Germany, which were parties to the nuclear deal along with Russian Federation and China.

A senior Iranian military official, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, said Iran would not bow to Washington's pressure to limit its military activities.

He said: "France can not consider itself to be the United States' friend and ally".

Ali Akbar Salehi, director of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, announced on Saturday that the European Union had made proposals and also taken initial steps to use euro in transactions with Iran.

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