Iran lays out nuclear deal red lines for Europeans

US targets Iran with fresh sanctions against airlines

Last month Trump withdrew the United States from the JCPOA, or Iran Deal, which granted Iran sanctions relief in exchange for a halt in its nuclear program. The Europeans must take a resolution against the U.S.to the UN Security Council and file complaint against the US move.

Highlighting how hard it will be, the U.S. Treasury announced Thursday more sanctions on several Iranian and Turkish companies and a number of aircraft in a move targeting four Iranian airlines.

"Iran will resume halted nuclear activities if Europe fails to provide guarantees", Ayatollah Khamenei said, a week after the EU said that it would act to protect the interests of EU companies investing in Iran as part of the European bloc's continued commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal. In return, Iran agreed to restrictions on its nuclear activities, increasing the time it would need to produce an atom bomb if it chose to do so. It was not, as he said, "insane" and he was incorrect to claim that the USA has paid Iran hundreds of millions of dollars in cash to sustain the deal.

"The Europeans must specifically tell us how they can guarantee Iran's interests in the deal in the absence of the United States and its re-imposition of sanctions", he added.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, addressing government officials on the occasion of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, said the US has been aiming to topple the Islamic republic for 40 years.

Iran expected this package by the end of May, he said, adding that Iran had only "a few weeks" before having to decide whether to keep participating in the deal or not.

Ayatollah Khamenei said, "Economy of the country can not be built by European JCPOA".

On Monday, Pompeo issued his own list of a dozen concessions Iran must make before Washington lifts sanctions and normalizes ties with Tehran. "We'll try to cling to the deal hoping that there is a possibility of a transaction, but we're under no illusions".

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Mr Khamenei made five demands to European countries, warning unless they were met Iran would resume its enrichment of uranium.

If the Americans try to interfere with Iran's oil sales, the Europeans must guarantee the purchase of oil from Iran.

Iran has so far benefited less from the accord than it had initially hoped, partly because of remaining US sanctions that have deterred major Western investors from doing business with Tehran.

Apart from a poorly informed campaign promise, there's no logical reason why Trump has dumped the Iran nuclear deal.

Some Western companies have already quit Iran or said they may have to leave because of the new US sanctions.

He also said it did not go far enough in restricting Iran's ballistic missile programme, or its intervention in regional conflicts from Yemen to Iraq and Syria.

If it pulls out of the deal, Iran would likely revert to its nuclear doctrine before the agreement or maybe even escalate its activities, the official said.

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