Iran: Trump's Sanctions Can't Touch Our Oil

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Meanwhile, Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, making his first public comments since US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a series of demands from Iran, said the US had a deep enmity toward his country, but that if Iranian officials do their duty, the country would defeat the US.

Iranian leader Khamenei on Wednesday published conditions the three European signatories of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal - Germany, Britain and France - must accept to guarantee Iran stays in the agreement.

He said: "We have another problem, which is the security of our companies and the capacity to give Iran the economic benefits that it can expect in return for giving up on nuclear weapons..."

LONDON, May 23 (Reuters) - Iran on Wednesday launched a fresh barrage of criticism at US demands for sweeping change in its foreign policy and nuclear programme, and Tehran's ally Damascus flatly dismissed a USA call for a withdrawal of Iranian forces from Syria.

Mr Pompeo did not say what new measures Washington was contemplating but described sanctions imposed last week on the head of Iran's central bank as "just the beginning".

Tehran insists its nuclear program is entirely peaceful, and its compliance with the deal has been verified by the United Nations nuclear watchdog.

Khamenei also said that the USA had no excuse to quit the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, adding "you see how easily they can cancel it", according to Iranian state television.

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On the seventh day of the auspicious month of Ramadan, the heads of government branches, officials, government authorities, a group of senior managers as well as political, social and cultural activists met with Ayatollah Khamenei.

The statement comes after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced new policy goals for U.S. dealings with Iran.

President Donald Trump's new top diplomat offered remarks on Monday that outlined 12 "demands" of Iran, including a complete end to its nuclear program, its ballistic-missile work and its broad foreign policy across the Middle East, such as its support for Bashar Assad's regime in Syria, rebels in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Other parties to the deal - Britain, China, Russia and Germany - have expressed a desire to keep the existing agreement in place.

Earlier on May 23, Pompeo reiterated his tough stance toward Iran in testimony before a House committee.

The US under Trump "does not have the courage for military confrontation and face-to-face war with Iran", he said. He also called for a ban on a heavy-water reactor, which is the most basic way to develop nuclear energy. He asked Europe to "make up for that silence" and to "stand up against U.S. sanctions".

Pompeo on Wednesday told a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing the administration meant to work with "as many partners, friends and allies as possible" to stop what he described as all of Tehran's nuclear and non-nuclear threats.

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