‘Act of economic terrorism’: Iran says US sanctions prove call for talks was ‘deceitful & untrue’

Gas refineries in Assalouyeh REUTERS / Caren Firouz Gas refineries in Assalouyeh
The sanctions imposed by the US against Iranian petrochemical companies prove that Mike Pompeo’s earlier promise of negotiations without preconditions was nothing but a bluff, a senior Iranian diplomat said.

On Friday, the US Treasury announced it has imposed a new wave of sanctions against Iranian energy businesses. The move is meant to stifle the revenues of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which Washington declared a terrorist organization earlier in April. This proves that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an empty promise to Tehran less than a week ago, when he said he was ready to start “a conversation with no preconditions,” a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said.

Pompeo’s words were “deceitful, untrue and merely in service of appealing to the public opinion,” Abbas Mousavi said as cited by Iran’s Mehr News Agency. He called the sanctions an act of “economic terrorism” and said Tehran will not yield to Washington’s pressure.

All countries have a responsibility to react against the flagrant violations of the fundamental principles of international law and not to allow the international community’s achievements in multilateralism to be further ruined by the bullying and unilateral actions of the American governing body,” Mousavi said.

The Trump administration has broken the multinational agreement on Iran’s nuclear industry signed under his predecessor and ramped up economic sanctions against Tehran, re-imposing those lifted under the nuclear deal and issuing more.

In April, the US announced it will not renew waivers it previously extended to the largest buyers of Iranian crude, which previously shielded them from US sanctions against Iranian energy export. The waivers were meant to give the buyers a grace period to switch away from Iranian oil.