05/22/2018, 13.30
IRAN - UNITED STATES
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Washington announces toughest sanctions in history. Tehran: US hegemony is over

In the first official speech, the new US Secretary of State fixed draconian conditions for a new nuclear agreement with Iran. Teheran responds: working with other partners to find a solution. Israel welcomes the words of the head of US diplomacy. But the European Union wants to preserve trade agreements with the Islamic Republic.

Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A new chapter has opened in the (new) war between the United States and Iran, following the decision by President Donald Trump to cancel the nuclear agreement (JCPOA) and introduce new sanctions. In his first official speech since his nomination to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the reintroduction of all punitive measures of the past and "the hardest sanctions in history". At the same time he set a number of conditions [which analysts and experts call draconian] for a new nuclear pact with Tehran, including the withdrawal of Iranian forces from Syria and the end of support for the Houthi Shiite rebels in Yemen.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani replied to Pompey's vitriolic words, saying that the United States has no title to decide on the future of Iran. "Who are you to decide on Iran and the world?" said the leader of the Islamic Republic, adding that "today" the states are independent and the era of US hegemony "is over. We will follow our path - he concluded - with the support of the whole country ".

A harsh condemnation of Pompey's speech also comes from Tehran's head of diplomacy, Javad Zarif, who rejects the threat of the worst sanctions in history. According to the Foreign Minister, the United States "are regressing into the old habits" of past hegemony; however, the Islamic Republic "is working with other partners" in the nuclear agreement in search of a solution. This is why Zarif went to Brussels in the last few days, the last stop on a journey that touched Russia and China, to save the JCPOA and preserve the beneficial effects of the agreement. This is also explains European Union (EU) decision to revisit a pro-Cuba norm to protect its companies from the "extraterritorial application" of the new sanctions imposed by the White House is to be framed.

Among those who applaud the Trump administration's iron-fisted strategy against Teheran, aimed at some sources of "regime change" in Iran, is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Commenting on Pompey's speech, the premier points out that "US policy is correct" to counter "the aggressive  expansion" of Iran throughout the Middle East. The Israeli leader, the only nation in the region to possess an atomic arsenal, concludes that Iran "aspires to nuclear weapons" and for this "the entire international community must align" with American positions.

Iran is one of the world's leading oil producers, with an annual turnover of billions of dollars. The ayatollah crude oil is one of the sensitive targets of US sanctions. However, it seems at least improbable that nations like Russia, China, India, Turkey are willing to follow the dictates of the White House.

And the European Union itself continues to move its pawns to safeguard what remains of the treaty and, as a primary objective, keep strategically important economic and commercial agreements alive for their companies. In this sense we read the words of the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Policy Federica Mogherini, who yesterday confirmed that "there are no alternative solutions" to the current agreement. Pompey's speech, he added, has not shown "how leaving the agreement has made or will make the region safer".

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