Home Middle East Irans supreme leader lists demands for staying in nuclear deal

Irans supreme leader lists demands for staying in nuclear deal

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Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned that the country will restart its nuclear programme unless European powers meet a new list of demands in the wake of the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement.

The UK, France and Germany must continue to buy Iranian crude oil and protect Irans markets and banking system from the impact of new US sanctions, Ayatollah Khamenei said.

Irans continued adherence to the landmark Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), agreed under US President Barack Obama, is also contingent on the three European countries agreeing not to interfere with Irans non-nuclear weapons programmes or activities and involvement in conflicts across the Middle East, he added.

All three demands fly in the face of competing calls from Washington DC for the European countries party to the JCPOA to tow the new, harsher US line on Iran.

US President Donald Trump announced earlier this month the US would withdraw from the JCPOA which lifted crippling international sanctions on Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear programme designed to limit any ambition for nuclear weapons.

On Monday, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said the US would impose the strongest sanctions in history on the Islamic Republic.

The US has already re-imposed old sanctions on Irans central bank.Mr Pompeo did not outline what further action will look like.

Any new rapprochement between Washington and Tehran would mean Iran would have to withdraw its forces in Syria and its support for Houthi rebels in Yemen, he added.

The decision to withdraw from the JCPOA has been condemned by the other parties of the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China, whom have all pledged to continue to honour the deal.

European businesses in particular may now find themselves running afoul of US sanctions rules if they continue to explore financial opportunities with Iran one of the worlds biggest oil producers.

In Iran itself, however, there is growing anger at what foreign minister Javad Zarif called the sham of US diplomacy.

As well as the ayatollah, the more moderate administration of President Hassan Rouhani has also reacted with anger to the US unilateral decision to scrap the deal.

In remarks after Mr Pompeos announcement on Monday, Mr Rouhani said the new US secretary of states background as a former CIA chief made him an untenable choice to make decisions which affect Iran and the world.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-nuclear-deal-latest-ayatollah-ali-khamenei-us-sanctions-donald-trump-mike-pompeo-a8367096.html

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