Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the United States cannot make decisions for Iran and other independent countries after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded broad changes in the course of the Islamic Republic’s foreign and domestic policy.
“All world countries want independence in their decisions and perhaps Americans are able to advance their agenda in some places through pressure, but logic does not accept them making decisions for the world,” Rouhani said on Monday.
“Today, we must help each other more” because the current US administration has regressed to 15 years ago and is repeating the same remarks made by former US president, George W. Bush, in 2003, he added.
The Iranian president emphasized that it is “not acceptable at all” that a man who worked at an espionage service for many years is now making decisions for Iran and other countries after assuming the position of US secretary of state.
“Who are you to decide for Iran and the world?” Rouhani asked.
In his first major foreign policy address since moving to the State Department from the CIA, Pompeo said on Monday that Washington would increase financial pressure on Iran by imposing the “strongest sanctions in history” on the Islamic Republic if Tehran refuses to change the course of its foreign and domestic policy.
“We will apply unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime. The leaders in Tehran should have no doubt about our seriousness,” Pompeo said after the United States’ move to withdraw from a landmark nuclear agreement Iran signed with major powers in 2015.
US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, Britain, France, Russia and China – plus Germany.
Trump also said he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.
Iran has said it would remain in the JCPOA for now, pending negotiations with the other signatories in the coming weeks, before making a final decision on its future role in the agreement. Tehran wants the Europeans to give it clear-cut guarantees about fulfilling their obligations if it remains in the accord.
US repeating wrong choice on Iran: Zarif
Later on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif took to Twitter, noting that the United States was repeating “the same wrong choices” and would obtain the “same ill rewards.”
“US diplomacy sham is merely a regression to old habits: imprisoned by delusions & failed policies – dictated by corrupt Special Interest – it repeats the same wrong choices and will thus reap the same ill rewards. Iran, meanwhile, is working with partners for post-US JCPOA solutions,” Zarif wrote in his tweet.
In a letter written to the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on May 10, Zarif said the US president’s “unilateral and unlawful” decision to withdraw from the key nuclear agreement and to re-impose nuclear-related sanctions showed “a complete disregard for international law.”
“These acts constitute a complete disregard for international law and the United Nations Charter, undermine the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes, endanger multilateralism and its institutions, indicate a regress to the failed and disastrous era of unilateralism, and encourage intransigence and illegality,” the Iranian foreign minister said.