BBC News: US vows 'strongest sanctions in history' on Iran

Iran nuclear facility

The EU said in a statement: "Secretary Pompeo's speech has not demonstrated how walking away from the JCPOA has made or will make the region safer from the threat of nuclear proliferation or how it puts us in a better position to influence Iran's conduct in areas outside the scope of JCPOA".

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Monday dismissed the USA threats of imposing the "toughest sanctions" on the Islamic republic, according to Iran's presidential website.

Trump's decision to withdraw the USA from the 2015 nuclear accord struck between world powers and Tehran has rattled close US allies in Europe who had been counseling the American president against taking such action.

Pompeo said on Monday here that Iran will suffer the toughest sanctions in history from the United States if it does not change the current course.

"These will be the strongest sanctions in history by the time we are done", Pompeo said.

"I believe if the European Union helps us and honors its statements, the level of Iran's oil exports will remain intact and this would not be a reason for changing a decision made in the past", Zanganeh said. "We will continue our path with the support of our nation", Rouhani said, as quoted by ILNA news agency.

The US Secretary of State outlined 12 demands to Iran including stopping uranium enrichment, to never pursue plutonium reprocessing and to close its heavy water reactor. Tension between the two countries has grown notably since President Trump this month withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement aimed at preventing Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

"We believe that is the right policy", Netanyahu said.

The nuclear deal is reached in Vienna

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused countries with nuclear weapons of "threatening the world", and criticized the United States's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Under renewed sanctions, he said, Iran would be forced to make a different choice: "either fight to keep its economy off life support at home or keep squandering precious wealth on fights overseas. If they make the decision quickly, that would be wonderful, if they choose not to do so we will stay hard at this until we achieve the outcomes I set forward", said Pompeo. It said Iran could still shoot off those ballistic missiles, obviously meant to transport nukes someday.

"Who are you to decide for the world?" he told the Iranian media.

Mike Pompeo addressed the Heritage Foundation with a speech regarding new USA policy towards Iran after Washington withdrew from JCPOA. While past US presidents sanctioned Iran for a variety of bad behavior - ranging from its sponsorship of terrorism to its human rights abuses - Obama by his second term offered to lift the most biting ones in exchange for nuclear concessions.

"If they restart their nuclear program, they will have big problems, bigger problems than they've ever had before", he said. If Iran agrees to those demands, he said, the United States would lift sanctions, re-establish diplomatic relations with Tehran and provide it access to technology.

Asked how the USA will work with European nations to ease the impact of sanctions on their companies, Pompeo gave no ground.

To allies who signed the JCPOA, he said, "I know our allies in Europe may try to keep the old nuclear deal going with Tehran".

Some European corporations, like the French automotive manufacturer Peugeot, have, in fact, suggested withdrawing from the deal, citing concerns about obtaining us sanctions waivers. The administration will then need to contemplate whether it is really willing to declare economic warfare on our own allies to force them out of a deal which, for now, Iran is in compliance with.

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