Iran’s Supreme Leader Sets Conditions for European Powers To Save Nuclear Deal
Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (Photo: kremlin.ru)

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei set out conditions for Tehran to stay in its nuclear deal after the U.S. chose to walk out of the Iran P5+1 JCPOA deal earlier this month.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's official website said on Wednesday that European powers must continue buying crude and protect Iranian oil sales from U.S. pressure, and promise they won't seek new negotiations on Iran's ballistic missile programme and Middle East activities. These demands are part of a broader set of seven conditions, reported by Rueters.

"European banks should safeguard trade with the Islamic Republic. We do not want to start a fight with these three countries [France, Germany and Britain], but we don't trust them either," Khamenei said. "Europe should fully guarantee Iran's oil sales. In case Americans can damage our oil sales … Europeans should make up for that and buy Iranian oil."

Khamenei accused the United States of violating U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 that underpins the nuclear agreement with Iran, and asked Europe to secure “a resolution against the U.S. violation”.

Khamenei said he was demanding assurances as he does not trust the European powers which are longstanding U.S. allies, “"We don't want to start a fight with Europe but these three countries (UK, France and Germany) have shown that they will follow America in the most sensitive issues," he added.

Finally, he warned that if the Europeans did not meet these demands, Iran would resume its enrichment of uranium, halted under the deal to minimize the risk of Tehran developing the means to build nuclear weapons.

The announcement of these conditions comes a day after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington was working on the ‘strongest sanctions in history’ to be imposed on Iran. He also listed 12 conditions to be met if Iran wanted to negotiate a new deal with the U.S. The conditions listed out by U.S. included Iran curtailing its activities in the Middle East as well as suspending its ballistic missiles programme.

Following Mike Pompeo’s speech, the United States imposed new sanctions against officials of Iran's Revolutionary Guard for allegedly providing ballistic missile-related expertise to Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The elite Iranian Guard said in a Wednesday statement: "The American leaders ... have got this message that if they attack Iran, they will encounter a fate similar to that of Saddam Hussein."

Saddam was ousted in a U.S.-led invasion of neighbouring Iraq in 2003, however, the U.S. failed to rebuild the country as promised and thousands of American soldiers were killed in years of rebellion and near anarchy which also gave rise to the dreaded Islamic State.