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Iran’s Supreme Leader Warns Government Against 'Deception' by Europeans

Iran’s Supreme Leader Warns Government Against 'Deception' by Europeans

Tuesday, 19 February, 2019 - 08:30
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei addressing people on Monday (EPA)
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei warned his country’s government not to be deceived by European countries that say they want to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by US President Donald Trump last year.

In turn, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi announced his country is prepared for any situation after Iran’s Foreign Minister’s Mohammed Javad Zarif warned of possible war.

Addressing the Munich Security Conference (MSC), in Germany, Zarif, who said Iran was committed to the 2015 nuclear deal, accused France, Britain and Germany of not doing enough to ensure Tehran received the economic benefits of that accord.

These three countries set up the Instrument In Support Of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), a new channel for non-dollar trade with Iran to avoid US sanctions.

“INSTEX falls short of commitments by the E3 (France, Germany, Britain) to save the nuclear deal.”

Khamenei indicated that Washington’s enmity toward Tehran is obvious. He warned Iranian officials of Europe’s dishonest gestures, cautioning officials: “Do not be deceived by the enemy’s smile; the Europeans are plotting against us.”

“Europeans also practice deception today... The enemy sometimes shows his teeth, sometimes his fists, and sometimes his smile. All these tactics are the same. Even their smile is out of animosity.”

Iran is divided between parties demanding President Hassan Rouhani and the government of meeting their promises to improve the country’s economic situations, and others oppose opening to foreign countries.

“I am not telling the officials what to do, but I am advising them to exercise caution (in dealing with Europe) so that they will not be tricked by them and cause problems for the country,” added Khamenei.

During a conference on the Middle East organized by the United States in Warsaw last week, US Vice President Mike Pence accused Washington’s European allies of trying to break US sanctions against Tehran. The meeting was attended by more than 60 nations but major European powers such as Germany and France declined to send top diplomats.

Khamenei said the “anti-Iran” conference in Warsaw had failed: “America invites weak and frightened puppets to conspire against Iran in Warsaw but to no avail,” he said.

“Our enemy is weak today. I have previously repeated that the enemy cannot be considered weak; however today, you can see that our main enemy, which is the United States, is in trouble: it is suffering from domestic and foreign problems, as well as conflicts among their senior officials,” asserted the Supreme Leader.

Major European allies have said they want to salvage the deal, under which world powers agreed to lift sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.

The Europeans pledged to ensure that Iran would be able to abide by the agreement, even with retraining sanctions. But in reality, European companies have largely abandoned plans to reinvest in Iran after the Trump decision.

Iran has been committed to the deal since Washington withdrew from it. But because of the few economic benefits, Rouhani faced a violent reaction from critics of the nuclear deal, close to the Iranian leader and the Revolutionary Guards.

Trump administration says the nuclear deal has done little to curb Iranian interference in regional affairs or curb its missile program. European countries say they have the same US concerns about Iran.

Zarif called on the European Union to do more to show its commitment to the agreement. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said that Iran is "ready for all conditions."

According to the ISNA government agency, Qassemi was commenting on what was reported by US and Israeli officials about a war in the region, with Iran as one of its parties.

Qassemi said that “US and Israeli policy is hostile and not far from the policy of intimidation from Iran” and continued: “whoever has a mind and wisdom does not think about this issue at all.”

Meanwhile, the state-run Mehr news agency quoted the Iranian Judiciary Chief, Sadiq Larijani as saying that “factory closures is against national security.” He said factory shutdowns and unemployment were “the biggest mistake in the country's economy.”

“People are not only focused on the behavior of the enemies but are monitoring the actions of the officials strictly,” Larijani said, referring to the popular discontent about the deteriorating living conditions. He called on the central bank to take action to prevent the closure of factories.

However, Larijani rejected Iran's regional policy criticism, saying that “the resistance movement in the region is the outcome of the ideas of the revolution.”

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