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Trump's threats are empowering hardliners in Iran

Trump's threats are empowering hardliners in Iran

"The US Secretary of State's yesterday speech was a physiological war against Iran rather than a politically motivated move", Razi Haji-Aqamiri told Trend on May 22.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani dismissed the threats.

It is increasingly clear that Trump's decision to withdraw the USA from the JCPOA and his escalating anti-Iranian rhetoric has given the hardliners in Iran the excuse they needed to discredit Rouhani's moderate government and pave the way for his possible removal from office.

"The sting of sanctions will only grow more painful if the regime does not change course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen for itself and the people of Iran", he added. Pompeo spoke on the topic of "After the Deal: A New Iran Strategy".

The deal was also signed by Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation.

Europe's energy chief will seek to reassure Iran's top ministers on Saturday that the European Union wants to keep trade open despite the United States withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

Though some European businesses have said they will comply with the USA demands and stop doing business with Iran, some European leaders have threatened countermeasures to offset the effects of US sanctions. Perhaps President Trump and his staunchly anti-Iran advisers are hoping that these confrontations between Rouhani and Iran's powerful hardliners may eventually lead to a much desired "regime change" in the country.

Europe has been scrambling to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran following Washington's withdrawal from the agreement last week.




In his speech, Pompeo acknowledged that many US allies will suffer "financial and economic difficulties" because of the reimposed sanctions.

"President Trump has taken a firm position, which we welcome, against Iran. During its summit in Sofia, the European Union gave a unified signal that we want to keep the Iran nuclear deal", Maas pointed out.

Pompeo, a longtime Iran hawk and fierce opponent of the 2015 agreement between Tehran and world powers (also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA), earlier on Monday outlined an aggressive series of "painful" measures created to hurt Tehran in his first key address since moving to the State Department from the Central Intelligence Agency in April. "The Iranian wave of destruction in the region in just the last few years is proof that Iran's nuclear aspirations can not be separated from the overall security picture", he added. Pompeo said that the long list of demands was Iran's fault, and that crippling sanctions would bring them back to the negotiating table.

On Europe's concerns about Iran's regional role and missile program, the Iranian deputy foreign minister said that these concerns had existed when nuclear negotiations started.

Mujahedeen-e-Khalq is an exiled Iranian armed opposition group that has called for the overthrow of the Iranian government for decades.

"We want to insist on the freedom of all political prisoners in Iran". He made the remarks in his first address to the State Department while unveiling the USA administration's "Plan B" for countering Iran.

Meanwhile, Pentagon spokesman Colonel Rob Manning said the military was weighing "new actions" to counter Iran's influence in the Middle East, but he stressed this was part of a "whole of government" approach and offered no details.

Jeff Seldin and Shahram Bahraminejad of VOA's Persian service contributed.

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