Iran nuclear deal: Khamenei lists demands for European powers

Mike Pompeo

The United States and European countries remain "a long way from a compromise" on a new Iran nuclear deal after the US's withdrawal from the 2015 agreement, Germany's foreign affairs minister said on Wednesday.

In his first public remarks since US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded Iran make sweeping policy changes, Khamenei expressed revulsion at what he suggested was the casual and boastful way the Trump administration had abandoned the accord.

However, in Paris, France's foreign minister said the USA decision to scrap the Iran nuclear deal would strengthen Tehran's hardliners and endanger the region. He asked Europe to "make up for that silence" and to "stand up against the USA sanctions".

Tehran must also allow "unqualified access" to all nuclear sites in the country.

Commenting on U.S. threats to ramp up sanctions on Iran, Ismail Kowsari said, "The people of Iran should stand united in the face of this and they will deliver a strong punch to the mouth of the American Secretary of State and anyone who backs them".

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Since campaigning to be president, Mr Trump has been heavily critical of the deal, and earlier this month he threatened economic sanctions on companies which did business with both Washington and Tehran.

Khamenei said he was demanding assurances as he does not trust the European powers which are longstanding USA allies, "We don't want to start a fight with Europe but these three countries (UK, France and Germany) have shown that they will follow America in the most sensitive issues", he added".

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

Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

He also warned that Iran would continue its enrichment of uranium if the terms are not met.

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The demands include providing what Pompeo described as "unqualified access to all sites" in the country to the International Atomic Energy Agency and the cessation of support for groups like Hezbollah, Hamas and the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Saddam was ousted in a USA -led invasion of neighbouring Iraq in 2003, however, the US failed to rebuild the country as promised and thousands of American soldiers were killed in years of rebellion and near anarchy which also gave rise to the dreaded Islamic State.

The US under Trump "does not have the courage for military confrontation and face-to-face war with Iran", he said. "[But] we have not been able to achieve effective deterrence of some of these efforts of the Russians", he said, adding that some USA allies in Europe "are even more threatened by the Russians".

The deal was agreed between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the US, UK, France, China and Russian Federation - plus Germany.

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