Iran tells EU to drop “dream” of Tehran curbing nuclear activities

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned European leaders to let go of their “dream” of Tehran continuing to limit its nuclear programme after fresh economic sanctions imposed by the United States. Washington’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal has considerably weakened the accord and led to the re-imposition of crippling sanctions on Tehran.

And, speaking during a commemoration ceremony to mark the 29th anniversary of the death of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran, Mr Khamenei said: “Some European countries appear to expect the Iranian people to both tolerate and deal with the sanctions, to go along with them, and give up [the country’s] nuclear energy activities while continuing to observe the restrictions set by the deal.

“I am telling these countries that they need to be conscious of the fact that this is a dream that will never come true. The people of Iran and the government of Iran will never tolerate both suffering from sanctions and nuclear restrictions. This will never happen.”

Mr Khamenei’s warning comes nearly a month after American President Donald Trump announced Washington’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from the landmark nuclear accord.

Signed in 2015, the pact was designed to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb in return for the removal of international sanctions that had impaired its economy.

The deal’s remaining signatories – Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia – have since scrambled to preserve the deal, while the US for its part prepares to reimpose comprehensive sanctions on Iran.

Iranian officials have already warned that Tehran too would quit the deal and start enriching uranium again if it can no longer see any economic benefit from sticking to the agreement.

The remaining backers and parties to the agreement, however, have limited influence on Washington, whose wrath they also face after Mr Trump warned that the US would impose sanctions on companies that continue to do business with Iran.

Shortly after Mr Khamenei’s speech, French carmaker PSA announced that it was pulling out of two joint ventures to sell its cars in Iran to avoid risking US sanctions.

PSA followed in the footsteps of French oil giant Total, whose chief executive said last week that the chances of winning exemptions to the US sanctions were “very slim”.

Source » express

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