Pompeo: US goal with allies to stop Iran's threats

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas delivers a speech during a press conference at the end of the G20 foreign ministers' meeting in Buenos Aires Argentina

Pompeo: US goal with allies to stop Iran's threats

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended his policy approach to Iran on Wednesday, faced with widespread criticism that the Trump administration's path forward out of a 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran is maximalist and unrealistic.

On the seventh day of the auspicious month of Ramadan, the heads of government branches, officials, government authorities, a group of senior managers as well as political, social and cultural activists met with Ayatollah Khamenei.

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

On relations with Europeans, the Leader said that Iran does not seek confrontation with Europe, but the UK, France and Germany showed that they will follow the U.S. in sensitive issues.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said that the United States seeks to distract the global attention from its "illegal moves" concerning Iran's nuclear deal by threatening and insulting the Iranian nation.

What was he responding to?

"In the nearly three years of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the Iran nuclear deal], the Iranians marched across the Middle East", Pompeo said.

These included the withdrawal of its forces from Syria and an end to its support for rebels in Yemen. He said that old sanctions on Iran would be restored and new ones would be introduced in case Tehran attempted to pursue its nuclear ambitions.

"Europe should fully guarantee Iran's oil sales".

The older U.S. sanctions prohibited nearly all trade with Iran.

Both the country's oil output and its GDP fell noticeably under worldwide sanctions.

Pompeo: US goal with allies to stop Iran's threats

Is the USA on its own?

In the wake of Trump's decision, the leaders of Great Britain, Germany and France called on other participants in the deal to continue fulfilling it.

All of the above signatories pledged to honour their commitments under the deal.

What was agreed under the 2015 deal?

Maas noted that European countries share concerns about Iran's missile program, but believe that such issues should be addressed without undermining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Media captionWhat is the Iran nuclear deal?

US President Donald Trump has long said the 2015 deal with Iran - also signed by Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation - did not go far enough, and now wants the Europeans and others to support his hard-line strategy.

Pompeo also said that Iran must stop its support of militant groups in the Middle East.

Salehi also said Iran had several options, including resuming its 20 percent uranium enrichment if the European countries failed to keep the pact alive.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful, and its compliance with the deal has been verified by the IAEA.

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