Rouhani rejects Trump's demands: 'Who are you to decide for Iran'

Rouhani rejects Trump's demands: 'Who are you to decide for Iran'

In his speech, Pompeo said he expects support from US allies in Europe, as well a dozen other countries, mostly in the Middle East, for the administration's Iran policy.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded that Iran halt all uranium enrichment, stop its ballistic-missile program and give nuclear inspectors access to the entire country, in a speech detailing the US approach now that President Donald Trump has withdrawn from the 2015 nuclear deal.

Pompeo says Iran "advanced its march across the Middle East" since the 2015 deal was enacted.

It was a call for regime change in disguise - an end result sought by Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Rouhani compared the comments as akin to those made by the administration of George W. Bush ahead of the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Iran foe Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Pompeo's speech, and urged the rest of the world to follow suit.

"Relief from sanctions will come only when we see tangible, demonstrated, and sustained shifts in Tehran's policies", Pompeo said. It's safe to say that while New Delhi will comply with the sanctions, it won't be excited about being enlisted.

Russian Federation and China have also criticised the USA move and vowed to maintain trade with Iran.

Britain's foreign secretary Boris Johnson, German foreign minister Heiko Maas and French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian take part in meeting with Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Brussels, Belgium, May 15, 2018. Iran has denied ever wanting to build nuclear arms.

Pompeo, a longtime Iran hawk and fierce opponent of the 2015 agreement between Tehran and world powers (also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA), earlier on Monday outlined an aggressive series of "painful" measures created to hurt Tehran in his first key address since moving to the State Department from the Central Intelligence Agency in April.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers remarks on'After the Deal- A New Iran Strategy, at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. Michael Reynolds  EPA
Pompeo vows US and allies will 'crush' Iranian operatives globally

In exchange, the U.S. would be willing to lift all sanctions and normalise diplomatic and commercial relations.

"It's really tough to have an worldwide sanctions regime that doesn't include anyone else", said Suzanne DiMaggio, director of the Iran Initiative at the New America Foundation. The demands are created to shut the door on negotiations, not open it.

In his speech at the Heritage Foundation, Pompeo also said Washington would impose unprecedented sanctions against Tehran. He said Iran's people must be the ones to decide and "make a choice about their leadership".

Kowsari declared that the Iranian people supported Qassem Soleimani, who heads the Revolutionary Guards's Quds Force tasked with operations outside of Iran. "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 continues to be a sanctuary for Al Qaeda, as it has done since 9/11", he said. US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on May 8 already provoked a barrage of criticism directed at the Iranian president.

The new anti-Iran team at the Trump White House may be pleased with the rising tensions in Tehran.

"The West often treats President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif as "apart" from the regime's unwise, terrorist, and malign behaviours", Pompeo said, speaking directly to the Iranian people.

Still, many question how effective US sanctions will actually be. As of now, the Trump administration appears adamant.

Pompeo gave no indication that European companies will be given waivers. "Anytime sanctions are put in place, countries have to give up economic activity", he said bluntly. "They may end up being the strongest sanctions in history by the time we are complete", he said. Critics said this is likely to lead to a more hard-line administration. The GCC's pro-engagement bloc, which consists of Kuwait and Oman, echoes Saudi Arabia's concerns about Iranian conduct but believes that selective cooperation and trade with Iran will benefit regional stability.

Zarif says the USA "repeats the same wrong choices and will thus reap the same ill rewards".

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