'Who are you?' Iran hits back at U.S. demands

Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

"The demands would require that the Iranian leopard not just change its spots but transform itself into a lamb", writes Barbara Slavin of the Atlantic Council.

"We welcome any nation which is sick and exhausted of the nuclear threats, the terrorism, the missile proliferation and the brutality of a regime at peace with inflicting chaos on innocent people", Mr Pompeo said.

"We will work to prevent and counteract any Iranian malign cyberactivity".

United States sanctions lifted after the 2015 deal will be re-imposed, Mr Pompeo said, and those and new measures will together constitute "unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime". The new USA policy laid out a dozen new demands that put the Trump Administration on a collision course with the Iranian government-and falls only rhetorically short of supporting an uprising by the Iranian people.

Pompeo said the Trump administration would not separate negotiations over Iran's nuclear programme from other issues like regional conflicts and missile development.

Affecting that much change in Iran's behavior may be an uphill battle for the Trump administration, given the lack of support for this new deal from European allies. "This is a whole of government solution that we're working in order to change Iran's influence in the region and we're continuing to do that".

"The JCPOA is the result of more than a decade of complex and delicate negotiations, based on dual track approach and therefore the best possible outcome, striking the right balance", Mogherini said.

"That is certainly their decision to make".

"Iranians shouldn't play into the challenges and USA radicalism", Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh told the Iranian Students News agency.

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. U.S. negotiators tried unsuccessfully to get Iran to admit it tried to build one in the early 2000s.

"The speech could be summarized as: call us after you surrendered or were toppled", Vaez said. She also explained that Europeans are still unsure of the USA rationale for leaving the deal.

"We will ensure freedom of navigation on the waters in the region", he said in a speech at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank whose ideas have been embraced by the Trump administration. The Europeans are searching for ways to protect their own companies from sanctions that Trump reimposed, though some big multinational firms already were avoiding business in Iran due to the uncertainty over the deal's fate.

In reality, there is no choice - European companies can not afford to forsake the United States market.

Iran must also "release all US citizens" missing in Iran or being held on "spurious charges", he said. It arrested US citizens even as its diplomats were negotiating the nuclear deal. Iran would also have to walk away from core pillars of its foreign policy, including its involvement in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Afghanistan, he said. Tehran wants the Europeans to give it clear-cut guarantees about fulfilling their obligations if it remains in the accord.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that countries with nuclear weapons were "threatening the world", and criticised the United States's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

Pompeo reiterated those threats today.

Everyone, including those who served in the Obama administration, would like Iran to stop these activities.

"Relief from sanctions will come only when we see tangible, demonstrated, and sustained shifts in Tehran's policies", Pompeo said. Failure to comply would mean US -enforced economic isolation. "I want the Australians, the Bahrainis, the Egyptians, the Indians, the Japanese, the Jordanians, the Kuwaitis, the Omanis, the Qataris, the Saudi Arabians, South Korea, the UAE, and many, many others worldwide to join in this effort against the Islamic Republic of Iran", Pompeo said.