EU Powers Exploring New, Non-Nuclear Sanctions On Iran

Monday, 19 Mar, 2018

"We will not accept any changes, any interpretation or new measure aimed at limiting" the 2015 deal between Iran and major powers, said Ali Shamkhani in remarks carried by the ISNA news agency. Since the 2015 nuclear deal that reintroduced Iran to global oil markets, this is only the second worldwide development deal that has reached fruition.

Pompeo has frequently expressed scorn for Iran, which he once characterized as "a thuggish police state" and a "despotic theocracy".

The former Republican congressman has been a vocal critic of the landmark Iran nuclear deal ever since it was signed in 2015. "For us, this is a clear violation of the nuclear deal", Araqchi told reporters on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Trump ousted US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replaced him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. This would seriously undercut the Iran's ability to fund terrorist groups or build weapons of mass destruction.

In the US, Iran deal supporters braced for what they see as the inevitable.

Pompeo has made statements advocating "regime change" in Iran and North Korea.

"Now he has a secretary of state who 100% shares his views on the nature and gravity of the Iranian threat and the fatal flaws of the JCPOA", Dubowitz said in an interview, using the initialism for the deal's official name.

The outgoing secretary of state was sacked for a host of reasons, some of them personal.

"He had a lot of "face time" with President Trump".

The E3, Iran and advocates of the nuclear deal in the USA saw Tillerson's firing as a harbinger of Trump's ultimate withdrawal.

"The United States will no longer tolerate Iran's destabilizing activities across the region, and this country will no longer certify the disastrous Iran nuclear deal", Pence told conservative activists. "And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately". Some Iranian officials have said the same, although others hope to stick with it because it has ended the country's economic isolation.

Iran was expected Friday to resist U.S. pressure to toughen the 2015 nuclear deal as time runs out to meet President Donald Trump´s ultimatum to fix the accord by May 12.

Tehran's compliance with the 2015 agreement was then repeatedly confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a United Nations nuclear watchdog.

It might also encourage other countries, namely the UK, France, and Germany, to pull out of the deal as well.

Still, the issue is highly sensitive because the 2015 pact between Iran and six major powers ― Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States ― lifted worldwide sanctions that crippled Iran's oil-based economy.

State Department policy planning chief Brian Hook, who is running the negotiations with Europe, will lead the U.S. delegation to the larger meeting in Austria's capital. The Trump administration hit the ground running, re-imposing sanctions against Iran in its first weeks in office and also instating restrictions against those who are complicit with Tehran.

The nuclear deal's terms did not cover ballistic missile activity.