'Who are you?' Iran hits back at USA demands

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday hailed the United States's policy on Iran and urged the rest of the world to follow suit.

Both the country's oil output and its GDP fell noticeably under global sanctions.

Pompeo said if Iran made major changes, the United States was prepared to ease sanctions, re-establish full diplomatic and commercial relations and support the country's re-integration into the worldwide economic system. The Trump administration has declared financial war on the Iranian regime. Many Iranians believe that even if Iran stopped its nuclear power program entirely, the United States would invent a new excuse, such as Iranian support for "terrorism", to expand its hegemony in the Middle East.

In a speech on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the United States will "crush" Iran with a new package of economic, diplomatic, military, and cyber pressures if it does not accept sweeping changes to its policies at home and overseas.

Ms Mogherini said there was "no alternative" to the JCPOA.

It is certainly tough but may be totally unrealistic. They contend that is is a hodgepodge of approaches that will not work. The pressure that brought about the JCPOA deal that President Trump has now abandoned was long-standing and widely supported. The thing is, some of the other six countries involved in this are making billions through trade with Iran, and for that reason and others, want to keep their part of the deal intact.

State Department officials have brushed off the differences between the USA and its allies, arguing they have common ground on other issues involving Iran, including its ballistic missile tests, its support for militant groups like Hezbollah and its involvement in the civil wars in Syria and Yemen.

Media captionIran nuclear deal: Trump announces United States pull-out Why is Iran seen as a regional threat? "The regime reaps a harvest of suffering and death in the Middle East at the expense of its people".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Its support for Lebanon's Hezbollah movement is particularly alarming for Israel while Saudi Arabia, another bitter enemy, accuses the Iranians of equipping rebels in Yemen.

Is the USA on its own?

Reacting to Pompeo's comments, Boris Johnson - foreign secretary of Britain, which is party to the 2015 nuclear deal - said the "jumbo negotiation" sought by Washington would be extremely hard to achieve within a "reasonable timetable".

All of the above signatories pledged to honour their commitments under the deal.

European allies heard how Pompeo expects their support for the new USA plan - but he offered nothing in return, and threatened economic fallout for anyone still dealing with the Islamic Republic. "They set the bar at a place they know the Iranians can never accept". Trump's threats, since December, to abandon the nuclear accord have helped cause the rial, Iran's currency, to lose a third of its value.

Iran also agreed to modify a heavy water facility so it could not produce plutonium suitable for a bomb. Those demands covered a range of activities, from releasing US citizens arrested in recent years to removing all personnel from Syria and allowing unfettered access to nuclear inspectors to military sites.

European nations, as well as Russian Federation and China, are vowing to stand by the deal - formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - that Iran reached with six world powers and are trying to insulate their companies from the promised sanctions even though that's an uphill effort.

As for compliance with the deal, consider some 32 illicit efforts to get foreign technology that have nuclear weaponry implications, at least as reported by a German intelligence agency.

  • Eleanor Harrison