Ayatollah Khamenei tells Iran’s president and cabinet they cannot count on European support for landmark agreement
Israel threatens ‘strong’ action against Iranian forces in Syria
Israel has renewed its threat to attack Iranian military targets in Syria after Damascus and Tehran reached a new accord on security cooperation.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reported to have said during a speech that his country would take “strong and determined action against Iran’s attempts to station forces and advanced weapons systems in Syria”.
“No agreement between Syria and Iran will deter us; neither will any threat deter us,” said Netanyahu at a ceremony naming Israel’s nuclear facilities after late president Shimon Peres. Iran’s military attache to Damascus said that his country’s military advisers would remain in Syria under the defence agreement signed earlier.
Iran’s supreme leader has warned the country might abandon its nuclear deal with world powers, casting doubt on the ability of European states to save the accord following the US withdrawal.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet they “should give up hope on Europe over economic issues or the nuclear deal”, according to his website. “The nuclear deal is a means, not the goal, and if we come to this conclusion that it does not serve our national interests, we can abandon it,” he was quoted as saying.
Iran would never negotiate with “indecent and confrontational” US officials on a new agreement, Khamenei said. Following US President Donald Trump’s exit from the historic international accord to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions, European powers have scrambled to ensure Tehran continues to receive economic benefits needed to keep it in compliance. Khamenei set out a series of conditions in May for European powers if they wanted to keep Iran in the deal. They included steps by European banks to safeguard trade with Tehran and guarantee Iranian oil sales.
Khamenei’s remarks came as Iran tries to cope with the return of US sanctions, which triggered mounting economic problems that in turn are causing political tumult.