'US can't decide for the world:' Rouhani rejects Pompeo's Iran demands
08:56, May 22, 2018
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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 U.S. 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.
President Hassan Rouhani said that the United States can not make decisions for Iran or other independent countries in the world.
"A person who was at the center of espionage until yesterday and now introduced as secretary of state wants to decide for (others)", Rouhani asserted, adding, "Who are you who want to decide for Iran and the world".
'The sting of sanctions will be painful if the regime does not change course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen to one that rejoins the league of nations, ' U.S. Secretary of State said.
Pompeo listed 12 requirements for a new Iran deal, including ceasing all enrichment (even the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty allows uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes) and "unqualified" access to all sites as well as non-nuclear items such as withdrawal of all troops from Syria and ending support for Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen and for Hezbollah.
"We understand our re-imposition of sanctions and the coming pressure campaign on the Iranian regime will pose financial and economic difficulties for a number of our friends", Pompeo said.
Pompeo said if Iran made major changes, the United States was prepared to ease sanctions, re-establish full diplomatic and commercial relations and support the country's re-integration into the global economic system.
Pompeo warned that if Iran fully resumed its nuclear program Washington would be ready to respond and said the administration would hold companies doing prohibited business in Iran to account.
"We will ensure freedom of navigation on the waters in the region".
However, Pompeo did not explicitly outline the pressure campaign the US intends to use to bring Iran to the negotiating table, nor did he outline a timeline for achieving his stated goals.
The EU said in a statement: "Secretary Pompeo's speech has not demonstrated how walking away from the JCPOA has made or will make the region safer from the threat of nuclear proliferation or how it puts us in a better position to influence Iran's conduct in areas outside the scope of JCPOA". The Islamic Republic "will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East".
French energy giant Total has also warned it will pull out of a multibillion-dollar project to develop Iran's vast South Pars gas field unless granted a waiver by U.S. authorities.
In his speech, Pompeo gave short shrift to what the administration has been calling "fixes" to the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Now Washington's European allies want to stick with the existing deal.
"Every country is going to have to participate" in the new American sanctions against Tehran, Mr. Pompeo said.
The Secretary of State also warned European businesses which work with Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions that they will be held "to account". As the Associated Press reported, "Taken together, the demands would constitute a wholesale transformation by Iran's government, and they hardened the perception that what Trump's administration really seeks is a change in the Iranian regime". The administration will then need to contemplate whether it is really willing to declare economic warfare on our own allies to force them out of a deal which, for now, Iran is in compliance with.
"US diplomacy sham is merely a regression to old habits: imprisoned by delusions & failed policies-dictated by corrupt Special Interest-it repeats the same wrong choices and will thus reap the same ill rewards".
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