Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei repeated threats to ditch the 2015 nuclear deal Wednesday should it no longer work in his country’s favor, claiming the agreement was simply a means to an end for his government.
Khamenei made such claims in the past, like in 2017 when he claimed Iran would ditch the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) if Washington did, according to Reuters.
He reiterated that sentiment to his government Wednesday, saying, “Naturally, if we conclude that it is impossible to protect national interests with JCPOA, we will put it aside.”
While he threatened to abandon the deal before, Khamenei’s declaration that his country’s position in the deal is not its objective and is rather a means for something else projects potential doubts on the success of recent European efforts to uphold the deal and renegotiate the agreement.
The European Union (EU) on Thursday announced its plan to give upwards of $50 million to Iran to stabilize the country’s economy against the effects of U.S. sanctions, largely in an effort to renew cooperation and engagement between Iran and the EU following the crumbling of the JCPOA. (RELATED: EU Pledges $20.7 Million To Iran To Offset Effects Of US Sanctions)
Khamenei said Wednesday that he would continue talks with Europe, but he told his government that it “should not pin hope” on Europe solving issues like the JCPOA or their own economy and should approach “their promises with wariness.”
“Europeans should understand from Iranian government officials’ words and actions that their measures will receive appropriate reactions by Iran,” Khamenei warned.
He also affirmed that there is no chance of negotiations with the U.S., and Khamenei criticized U.S. President Donald Trump for his hard rhetoric and “explicit animosity” toward Iran.
Khamenei claims negotiations with former U.S. officials bore “results,” but he cannot bring himself to talk with the current administration.
“With the current brazen U.S. officials — who have unsheathed their swords against Iranians — what negotiations can we have? Thus no negotiations with any U.S. official at any level will be held,” he said, according to transcripts posted on his website. (RELATED: After Massive Economic Protests, Rouhani Says Iran Will Not Bow To Pressure From Trump)
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have escalated since Trump withdrew from the Iran Deal on May 8 and subsequently reimposed significant economic sanctions on the country, severely damaging its economy.
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