China "pivotal" to preserving nuclear deal, says Iran's foreign minister

Leroy Wright
August 6, 2018

Pompeo called the Iranian leadership "bad actors" and said Trump is intent on getting them to "behave like a normal country".

In Tabriz, Ahmad Motahari, who led prayers on Friday, said he was not optimistic about possible negotiations with the United States and said Trump wants to "frustrate" Iranians so that they would blame their own leaders for sanctions.

The sanctions that go back into effect on Monday cover Iranian trade in automobiles and metals, including gold.

ATR, jointly owned by European consortium Airbus and Italy's Leonardo, has been pushing USA officials to allow it to finish its delivery of aircraft to Iran. Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard on Sunday acknowledged conducting recent naval exercises near the crucial Strait of Hormuz after renewing threats to cut off the waterway to oil traders.

One hundred and eighty days later, on November 4, will see Iran barred from its ability to buy or sell petroleum products, and foreign entities will be prevented by the US from trading with its central bank.

In addition, Iran has banned any import of billet and some steel long products, the sources said.

The nuclear deal lifted worldwide sanctions in exchange for Iran agreeing to restrictions on its nuclear program.

But Trump's withdrawal from the Iran deal has tanked its economy badly.

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U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said July 27 there was no policy that had been put in place with the goal of collapsing or changing the Iranian regime.

They face opposition. Ali Motahari, the deputy speaker of parliament, told Jafari bluntly that either accepting or rejecting Trump's offer of talks was no business of the military, and the decision would be taken by Iran's highest authorities.

If the re-imposed sanctions caused the government in Tehran to collapse, Iran would likely devolve into civil war like what unfolded in Syria or radicals would assume power, the diplomat said.

Dubowitz, who noted that Iran has tested fewer missiles of late, said Trump's rhetoric and position on Iran actually lowers the risk of escalation toward conflict.

There is a wave of protests engulfing cities and towns in Iran, with slogans demanding a change of regime because of its inability to address the financial crisis, but the demonstrators are unsure about how they can bring about change peacefully.

So, without any direct negotiations happening, how do Iran and the USA ever get anything done?

We "remain firmly committed to ensuring (the deal) is upheld and we continue to abide by our commitments", the second European diplomat said.

Iran's economy was plunged into a downward spiral following Trump's announcement that the United States was scrapping the nuclear deal. However, reports from Iranian Resistance groups regarding the past several months of domestic protests suggest that this is exactly the outcome that is being sought by much of the activist community.

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