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Iran demands assurances after United States pullout from nuclear accord

29 May 2018

Since it is also important for Tehran to save face... well, you guess: as Reuters reported on Saturday, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran could resume 20 percent uranium enrichment if the European signatories of the nuclear deal failed to keep it alive following Washington's withdrawal.

The 2015 accord rests on lifting sanctions and allowing business with Iran in exchange for Teheran curbing its nuclear programme. "The Europeans need to table a resolution against the U.S.to protest this action".

For the first time since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) came into force in 2015, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany gathered - at Iran's request - without the United States, which pulled out on May 8 and said it would re-instate sanctions.

Most analysts concurred that the USA has implicitly announced - or as cynics would say, confirmed - what amounts to a comprehensive regime change strategy against Iran which envisions tougher sanctions provoking identity-based conflict among its many minorities that could then evolve to take on political dimensions with time and the right amount of foreign support.

"We believe Iran's economy is attractive enough to bring companies and banks and businesses into Iran", he said.

"We want them working on behalf of the Iranian people, ordinary Iranian citizens who want nothing more than to live their lives, to be able to take their hijab off, to be able to go to work and raise their families and worship in the way they want to worship".

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"We were always told there is a Plan B", the official said.

Iran is looking for guarantees it can continue to sell its oil on world markets, have worldwide banking access and broad protection for ongoing trade, among other things.

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

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

He said that in theory the deal could survive without the United States, but acknowledged "in practice I'm not sure".

The deal's proponents say it is crucial to forestalling a nuclear Iran and preventing wider war in the Middle East.

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Pompeo has called for the negotiation of a new deal that would go far beyond the single focus of the nuclear agreement and would have the status of a formal treaty.

"We need both legal and political commitments by the remaining participants of the JCPOA, that they can continue the JCPOA with Iran without the USA and they can provide Iran with the benefits of sanction-lifting", stated Araghchi.

French President Emmanuel Macron wants to complement the nuclear deal with negotiations between all sides over other issues, an idea cautiously received by Russian President Vladimir Putin during talks in St. Petersburg on Thursday.

European Union leaders have united behind the accord, with Brussels working on measures including banning EU-based firms from complying with reimposed U.S. sanctions and urging governments to make money transfers to Iran's central bank to avoid fines.

Some of the US' demands are impossible for Iran to comply with and are clearly meant to give Washington a public reason for tightening its sanctions regime to become the "strongest in history", like America's top diplomat described them as being. She says that's what makes Trump's comments about wanting to improve the nuclear deal so exasperating.

"The IAEA director general was invited to today's session of the commission".

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Iran demands assurances after United States pullout from nuclear accord