Published: Mon, May 21, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

'US can't decide for the world:' Rouhani rejects Pompeo's Iran demands

'US can't decide for the world:' Rouhani rejects Pompeo's Iran demands

"Looking forward to speaking [at Heritage] on Monday, May 21, about the road ahead on [Iran]", Pompeo tweeted over the weekend. He said the US would "apply unprecedented financial pressure" to bring Tehran back to the table.

Oil prices are now in a holding pattern until the Trump administration's policy towards Iran and its oil exports becomes more articulated and it's clear that the threat of renewed sanctions isn't a bargaining tool for Washington to attempt to renegotiate the Iranian nuclear deal in the Trump administration's favour.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said the new policy is "ridiculous and embarrassing and more like a satire".

Unlike North Korea, Iran is not easily isolated, and the United States' allies and partners are not on board with the strategy.

Under the deal signed in Vienna with six world powers - China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Germany, as well as the European Union - Iran scaled back its enrichment of uranium and vowed not to pursue nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief.

European parties to the nuclear deal - France, Britain and Germany - are working to find a way to keep the nuclear pact in effect after Washington's exit.

Mr Pompeo also demanded that Iran cease a range of activities throughout the Middle East that have long drawn the ire of the USA and its allies.

The US is not asking anything other than Iranian behaviour that is consistent with global norms and the elimination of Iran's capacity to "threaten" the world with its nuclear activities, he said.

Pompeo also warned European businesses who have signed business deals in recent years to work with Iran that if they are in violation of USA sanctions they will be held "to account".

He called on Iranians to challenge their leaders to do what's necessary to avoid the damage of new sanctions that the Trump administration is about to impose.

The latest announcement, one Iranian official said on Monday, was proof the USA is seeking regime change in Tehran.

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'This sting of sanctions will be painful if the regime does not change its course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen to one that rejoins the league of nations'.

"Our demands on Iran are not unreasonable: give up your program", Pompeo said in a speech outlining demands on Iran.

European companies doing business with Iran would have to decide whether they want to keep those accounts if it means alienating the USA and possibly facing sanctions.

Unless such a treaty can be reached, Pompeo warned that Iran would face tough sanctions that would leave it "battling to keep its economy alive". "It will not be able to do both", Pompeo said.

The U.S. faced a May 12 deadline to decide whether or not to remain in the Iran nuclear deal.

Iran must also release foreign detainees.

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.

"I know we share the same goals in facing the challenge from the Iranian regime. I don't just mean our friends in Europe", he said.

'The advantage of the JCPOA was that it had a very clear objective.

Suzanne Maloney, deputy director of the Brooking Institution think tank's foreign policy program, said Pompeo's speech did indeed amount to a strategy of regime change.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh in an interview on Iranian state television on May 10 accused "some OPEC members" of "acting as tools for carrying out U.S. policies".

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