Pompeo Slams EU Plan to Help Companies Skirt US Sanctions on Iran

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Tensions between the United States and the European Union over Iran soared into the open Tuesday (25 September) after the Europeans announced plans for a legal framework to preserve business with Tehran and evade new U.S. sanctions.

"We do not wish to increase tensions - none of the above".

Mr Trump and his aides, meanwhile, stepped up their attacks on the nuclear deal, which was a signature foreign policy achievement of the Obama administration.

In contrast, his closest European allies, France, Britain and Germany, along with China and Russian Federation, are trying to salvage the accord by developing ways to bypass USA sanctions so that Iran can still receive oil revenue, giving it an incentive to stay in the agreement.

In rhetorical exchanges that brought back memories of the feud over the 2003 Iraq invasion, the United States denounced the Europeans who in turn made clear they would not back down on diplomacy.

Mr Trump blasted what he called Iran's "corrupt dictatorship" and accused its leaders of enriching themselves through embezzlement and raiding state coffers to spread "mayhem".

Iran has said it is a victim of terrorism rather than a perpetrator.

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Also defending the deal that was endorsed in a Security Council resolution, British Prime Minister Teresa May said it "remains the best means of preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon".

President Trump called on the rest of the world to isolate Iran and said a USA campaign of "economic pressure" would turn back "Iran's aggression", in his second address to the UN General Assembly.

The U.S. has also accused Iran of promoting global terrorism, which Tehran vehemently denies.

US Arab allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as well as Israel have long sought for Washington to work to curtail non-Arab and predominantly Shia Muslim Iran's influence in the Middle East, including in war-torn Syria.

The European powers with China and Russian Federation are desperately trying to salvage the nuclear deal and on Monday said they had agreed to set up a special payment mechanism to continue trade with Iran in an effort to skirt USA sanctions.

"Mindful of the urgency and the need for tangible results, the participants welcomed practical proposals to maintain and develop payment channels notably the initiative to establish a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to facilitate payments related to Iran's exports, including oil", the group said in a joint statement issued after the statement.

"The Americans say that by imposing sanctions they want to pressure the government of Iran but in reality with this method they deprive the people of their welfare and right to life", Hatami said, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.

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