Rouhani Minimizes Importance of US Sanctions on Iran

Getty•Scott Daniel World War 3 Michael Scheuer said the US is
Getty•Scott Daniel World War 3 Michael Scheuer said the US is"barking mad when it comes to Iran

22 May, 2018

A staunch opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, Netanyahu again showered US President Donald Trump with praise for pulling out of the deal on May 8.

Araghchi added that Iran is looking for Europeans' guarantees to neutralize the USA sanctions, for example on the sale of Iran's oil, to have effective banking transactions and to protect European companies doing business in Iran.

Asked how the USA will work with European nations to ease the impact of sanctions on their companies, Pompeo gave no ground.

"The sting of sanctions will only grow more painful if the regime does not change course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen for itself and the people of Iran", he added.

Pompeo drew a direct link to the North Korea negotiation, saying Trump's willingness to meet with Kim Jong Un showed the administration's dedication to diplomacy.

According to the statement, "the U.S. government will be responsible for the consequences of any persecution as well as unlawful and violent actions against the Iranian nation".

"Who are you to decide for Iran and the world?"

Pompeo stopped short of calling directly for regime change, but he urged Iranians to think of Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif as part of a corrupt, venal and risky regime. Trump's decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was immediately condemned by many USA allies-particularly its European allies-but received enthusiastic support from Saudi Arabia.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers remarks on "After the Deal - A New Iran Strategy", at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. Their governments could continue their agreement with Iran, but risk running afoul of US sanctions. Other nations have agreed that Iran has the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.

First and foremost, it is highly crucial for Iran that the Europeans keep buying oil from the country - now around 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) or roughly 40% of overall Iranian oil exports.

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The US has threatened Iran with "the strongest sanctions in history" if it does not comply with a set of US demands, which critics have said is nothing short of a call for regime change in Tehran.

"The essence of radicalism passes by fast", Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh told the Iranian Students News Agency.

In his Senate confirmation hearing last month, Pompeo said he saw no evidence that Iran was seeking to build a nuclear bomb given the constraints of the 2015 arms control deal. Putin, however, has so far shown no indication that it is ready to abandon Iran to please the United States or Israel. "But not its actions which jeopardize the world's citizens".

Laying out Trump's new approach Monday, Pompeo said he couldn't put a timeline on how long the strategy might take.

Jannati is probably one of the most hardline ayatollahs in Iran; he heads not only the Assembly of Experts, charged with choosing and replacing the supreme leader, but also the Guardian Council, which is responsible for vetting candidates during the elections.

He says if a deal was reached that satisfies the Trump administration, the US would be willing to lift all economic sanctions.

Mr Zarif said America was "regressing to old habits" but his country was working with other partners to the nuclear deal in order to find a solution.

"If they restart their nuclear program, they will have big problems, bigger problems than they've ever had before", he said. "At the end of the day, the Iranian people will put a time line" on their government, he said. The strengthened influence of these hardline factions could convince Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to escalate Iran's belligerence to prevent Ahmadinejad and other hardliners from instigating mass protests, like those that broke out in late December.

Reacting to Pompeo's remarks on Monday, Suzanne DiMaggio, a senior fellow at New America, argued that in addition to dramatically increasing the possibility of military conflict with Iran, the speech "will not be well-received by the North Koreans".

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