Iran leader: Europe must protect trade with Tehran to save nuclear deal

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Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks live on television after casting his ballot in the Iranian presidential election in Tehran June 12, 2009. REUTERS/Caren Firouz/File Photo

Iran’s top leader set out a series of conditions on Wednesday for European powers if they want Tehran to stay in a nuclear deal after the U.S. exit, including steps to safeguard trade with Tehran and guarantee Iranian oil sales.

Roji Kurd: “European banks should safeguard trade with the Islamic Republic. We do not want to start a fight with these three countries (France, Germany and Britain) but we don’t trust them either,” Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, issuing conditions for saving the nuclear pact on his website.

He also stipulated European powers must protect Iranian oil sales from U.S. plans to scuttle them by reimposing global sanctions on Tehran, and to continue buying Iranian crude.

He further said Britain, France and Germany must pledge they would not seek negotiations on Iran’s ballistic missile program and on its regional activities, both of which were not covered by the nuclear pact but are now demanded by Washington.

Khamenei said that over the past two years the United States “has repeatedly violated” the nuclear deal but the Europeans had remained silent. He asked Europe to “make up for that silence” and to “stand up against (new) U.S. sanctions.”

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out earlier this month from the 2015 nuclear deal that lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs to its nuclear program, calling it deeply flawed. European powers see the international accord as the best chance of stopping Tehran developing a nuclear weapon and have intensified efforts to salvage it.

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