No US-European Compromise Seen On Iran As Khamenei Steps Up Demands

Iran asks Europe what it can offer to keep it in the nuclear deal after U.S. pullout
No US-European Compromise Seen On Iran As Khamenei Steps Up Demands
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26 May, 2018

He added that world powers must leave the door open for talks.

Khamenei said the European countries should "stand up" against renewed sanctions the United States imposed after President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal earlier this month.

Nations that remain in the agreement meet on Friday for the first time since Trump left the pact, but diplomats see limited scope for salvaging it.

After Friday's meeting, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told reporters discussions would continue.

"I am personally maybe not optimistic but".

Speaking ahead of the Vienna talks, the Iranian official said that for his country to stay in the deal, the relief granted would have to be guaranteed by the other parties involved and that Tehran needs specifics on how that will happen by the end of May.

European Union leaders have united behind the accord, with Brussels working on measures, including banning EU-based companies from complying with reimposed U.S. sanctions and urging governments to make money transfers to Iran's central bank to avoid fines. "But I'm sorry to say we haven't seen the Plan B yet". "Khamenei is now doubling down on that charge", he said, referring to the deal's official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The Iranian diplomat added, the Islamic Republic needs a guarantee it will be able to continue to sell its oil on world markets, have global banking access and broad trade protections.

Washington has not only reimposed sanctions but started to make them even tighter.

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Highlighting how hard it will be, the U.S. Treasury announced Thursday more sanctions on several Iranian and Turkish companies and a number of aircraft in a move targeting four Iranian airlines. "We'll try to cling to the deal hoping that there is a possibility of a transaction, but we're under no illusions". The accord's demise threatens to lift limits on Tehran's nuclear program, disrupt billions of dollars in planned European investment in Iran, exacerbate transatlantic relations and disrupt oil flows from OPEC's third biggest producer.

Khamenei also rejected any new negotiations over Iran's missile programme, which was not covered by the nuclear deal.

The ayatollah may have staked out a deliberately demanding position to give more room for the Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, to appear conciliatory in his own meetings with the Europeans to try to save the nuclear agreement.

The U.S. Treasury announced more sanctions on Thursday on several Iranian and Turkish companies and a number of aircraft in a move targeting four Iranian airlines.

He added that Tehran would decide within the next few weeks whether to stay in the accord.

But U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday threatened the Islamic Republic with "the strongest sanctions in history" if it did not change its behavior in the Middle East.

An official report Thursday declared that Iran is still in compliance with the stringent controls on its nuclear program.

European nations share some United States concerns but say that torpedoing the nuclear deal makes those far harder, not easier, to address.

The official said time was running out and that if Iran was not satisfied with European efforts, Tehran would seek a ministerial meeting before making its decision.


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