Iran expects economic package from European powers

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The sanctions followed US President Donald Trump's announcement on May 8 of Washington's withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Ayatollah Khamenei added Iran has the right to resume its restricted nuclear activities if the Europeans failed to meet the Islamic Republic's demands.

For the first time since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) came into force in 2015, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany gathered - at Iran's request - without the United States, which pulled out of the agreement on May 8 and said it would reinstate sanctions.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a 12-point list on Monday calling on Iran to heed US demands that include abandoning uranium enrichment and shutting down its missile program.

It was not, as he said, "insane" and he was incorrect to claim that the United States has paid Iran hundreds of millions of dollars in cash to sustain the deal.

Iran's supreme leader set out conditions Wednesday for Iran to stay in the deal: Unless Europe guarantees Iran's oil sales will not be hurt, Tehran would resume enrichment of nuclear material.

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On Thursday, the USA imposed sanctions against nine Iranian and Turkish individuals and companies as well as a number of aircraft providing goods and services to four Iranian airlines.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei set out seven conditions for European powers if they want Iran to stay in the nuclear deal after the USA exit.

The ayatollah may have staked out a deliberately demanding position to give more room for the Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, to appear conciliatory in his own meetings with the Europeans to try to save the nuclear agreement.

Recent revelations of a covert Iranian facility created to develop long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles that can be fitted with nuclear warheads will only complicate matters for Tehran as it scrambles for a European lifeline, Shahbandar said.

The ayatollah said European banks "must guarantee business transactions with the Islamic Republic", even in the face of USA sanctions.

In his meeting with Pompeo, Maas said he stressed the "great solidarity" of the deal's European signatories and the European Union in their collective decision to continue following the agreement. He asked Europe to "make up for [its] silence" when the U.S. violated the 2015 deal, and to "stand up against the USA sanctions".

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Apart from a poorly informed campaign promise, there's no logical reason why Trump has dumped the Iran nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, Iran has called on Europe to present an economic package by the end of May. "When we see that the [2015 nuclear deal] was useless, one way forward is to restart those halted activities".

"We believe Iran's economy is attractive enough to bring companies and banks and businesses into Iran", he said.

Trump denounced the accord, completed under his predecessor, Barack Obama, because it did not cover Iran's ballistic missile program, its role in Middle East conflicts or what happens after the deal begins to expire in 2025.

The EU could not thwart or skirt U.S. primary and secondary sanctions against Iran, he said. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano was invited by the JCPOA on Friday to address the group on his agency's findings.

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