U.S. issues steep list of demands for nuclear treaty with Iran

Iran responded to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's speech which set conditions for the Muslim country that, if not met, would subject Iran to harsh sanctions.

It was a pointed response to Mr Pompeo, who issued a list of 12 demands addressing Iran's policies in the Middle East and its ballistic missile programme following the unilateral United States withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

The sweeping list would sharply curtail Iran's ballistic missile program and wider behavior in the region, and require a radical change in policy - if not leadership - in Tehran.

Pompeo on Monday threatened to place "the strongest sanctions in history" on Iran if its government doesn't change course.

Suzanne Maloney, deputy director of the Brooking Institution think tank's foreign policy programme, said Pompeo's speech amounted to a strategy of "regime change".

"After our sanctions come into full force, it will be battling to keep its economy alive", he added.

"We understand that 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", he said.

Many European officials, including those who negotiated the Iran agreement alongside the United States, have chafed at the Trump administration's positions on Iran, the Paris climate accord, moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and trade tariffs.

The address comes as Trump focuses on a related gambit with nuclear-armed North Korea. Iran has said repeatedly that its enrichment of uranium is exclusively for domestic energy purposes and that it has no interest in pursuing nukes, whether or not the worldwide nuclear accord remains in place.

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US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, which was reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the US, Britain, France, Russia and China - plus Germany.

European leaders have strongly condemned the USA move to abandon the nuclear deal - a pact also involving Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany - and reimpose sanctions, seeing it as undermining regional security and a direct attack on their economic interests. Iran has no need for anyone's permission to act in the Middle East.

Other demands the Iranians are unlikely to go along with include stopping uranium enrichment and ballistic missile tests, and allowing worldwide inspectors access to all sites, including military locations where critics suspect clandestine research.

He also called for a full stop to Iran's enrichment of uranium, which was sharply curbed by the Iran deal, and for global monitors to gain "unqualified access" to all sites, including military facilities that Iran considers off-limits. Kowsari said, according to ILNA. Iran must also allow nuclear "unqualified access to all sites throughout the country".

He repeatedly called Iran the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism, saying it antagonizes neighbors, represses its own people and imperils peace worldwide.

Others countries that were part of the original nuclear deal are trying to save it. Federica Mogherini, the EU's foreign policy chief, rejected the approach saying there was "no alternative" to the existing nuclear deal which the USA has reneged on. A member of the Iranian parliament's national security committee suggested that the best approach would be to wait for US policy to change once Trump leaves office.

Michael Gahler, a German conservative in the European Parliament, warned that Washington's get-tough approach would only further strengthen the position of hardliners in Tehran, while doing little to improve Israel's security.

Iran also agreed to modify a heavy water facility so it could not produce plutonium suitable for a bomb.

He insisted diplomacy was the first choice, however. That possibility so rattled the regime that as the intensity of the uprising became apparent, Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani telephoned his French counterpart to urge him to crack down on the NCRI. "If they make the decision quickly, that would be wonderful".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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