Iran shrugs off U.S. threat of imposing "toughest sanctions"

Posted May 22, 2018

A new package of sanctions, still to be unveilled, will impose "unprecedented financial pressures"-the strongest in history-on Tehran, Pompeo said, at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington".

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

Under a portrait of the late Iranian revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, worshippers chant slogans in a pro-Palestinian rally in Tehran.

"I believe if the European Union helps us and honors its statements, the level of Iran's oil exports will remain intact and this would not be a reason for changing a decision made in the past", Zanganeh said.

Colonel Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters the military was looking at potential actions to push back against Iran's regional military influence as part of a larger U.S. government response.

Iran dismissed Washington's ultimatum and a senior Iranian official said it showed the United States was seeking "regime change" in Iran.

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Pompeo, unveiling the administration's new policy just weeks after President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, said the United States will work to counter Tehran's regional activities, curb its influence in the Middle East and make sure that it never gains a nuclear weapon.

The re-establishment of U.S. sanctions will force European companies to choose between investing in Iran or trading with the United States. "You should know that we will hold those doing prohibited business in Iran to account". Under renewed sanctions, he said, Iran would be forced to make a different choice: "either fight to keep its economy off life support at home or keep squandering precious wealth on fights overseas. It will not have the resources to do both". The five other major powers have committed to adhering to the deal, with the European Union considering legislation that will nullify the effects of us sanctions on foreign companies that continue doing business with Iran.

Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, tweeted last week in a reference to Mr. Trump: "With friends like that who needs enemies?" It is unclear how much benefit such deals would provide if European companies refused to do business with the country.

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

The US list also required Iran to cease backing Lebanon's Hezbollah, Gaza's Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The prospect of Iran acceding to all twelve demands, Sherman added, "is virtually zero".

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At the same time, Pompeo offered Iran a series of dramatic potential USA concessions if it agrees to make "major changes". "Iran, meanwhile, is working with partners for post-US JCPOA solutions", Zarif said in a tweet on Monday.

Among the items on Pompeo's wish list is a full acknowledgment of Iran's previous attempts to develop a nuclear weapon.

"We couldn't get it done". Pompeo further called on Iran to halt its ballistic missile program. Currently, inspectors must outline the basis for their suspicions. Ponder how North Koreans recently released three American prisoners as a prelude to talks while the Iranians released no American prisoners until Obama provided a ransom that he and confused supporters said was not a ransom. At least six Americans are imprisoned or unaccounted for, and they are widely considered to be bargaining chips.

"If we are to be fair, to show a just approach, then the countries with nuclear weapons, which portray nuclear power stations as threats, have no credibility in the worldwide community", he said at an iftar dinner for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. "And one can not help but think that is the strategy and the goal".

Pompeo's appeals to the Iranian people stopped short of calling for regime change.

The United States earlier in the day demanded Iran make sweeping changes - from dropping its nuclear programme to pulling out of the Syrian civil war - or face sanctions as the Trump administration hardened its approach to Tehran. Are they not the most responsible for your economic struggles? "Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East". "At this milestone, we have to ask: What has the Iranian Revolution given to the Iranian people?"

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