Washington seeks strong sanctions; ‘who are you’, hits back Iran
The US and Iran traded barbs once again on Monday, May 21, over the latter's nuclear programme. After the US came up with a list of strong demands to be included in a new treaty with Iran to replace the one scrapped by the Donald Trump administration on May 8, threatening Tehran with "the strongest sanctions in history" if the latter didn't change its course, Iran rubbished the threats saying the world no longer cared to accept the US making calls on its behalf, reports said.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani hit back at Washington asking who was they to decide for Iran and the world, several news agencies of the western country reported, according to AFP. Rouhani said every country has its independence today.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a hardliner like President Trump who has been after Iran from the beginning, opined that a stronger agreement with Iran should require Tehran to stop enrichment of uranium and the latter would have to depart from core pillars of its foreign policy and that includes its role in countries like Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and Lebanon. In all these countries, Iran is operating either against the US or against its ally(s) in the region.
Defending the US's decision, Pompeo said it was not the US which created the need for a changed behaviour but Iran itself did, AP reported.
Pompeo, who took over as the secretary of state after the ouster of Rex Tillerson and is deeply trusted by President Trump, said the current administration's approach should make it clear that Iran never gets access to the nuclear weapons, ever, AP added.
It also reported Pompeo as saying that the US would "apply financial pressure" to make Iran negotiate.
Iran's economy was crippled by long sanctions imposed before they were lifted by the deal of 2015 which saw Tehran complying with the agreement designed to stop it from developing nuclear weapons.
Trump was always upset with the Barack Obama-era deal and abused it in all ways he could. He felt the deal was flawed and Iran was taking an undue advantage of that and subsequently, announced his decision to pull the US out of it, leaving the multilateral deal which also featured other big powers in trouble.
Pompeo though promised that the US will help Iran diplomatically and economically under the new agreement but it is very unlikely that Tehran will accept Washington's demands that include, among others, giving "unqualified access to all sites throughout the country", AP reported.