'Plan B': Tehran Gives European Powers One Week to Salvage Nuclear Deal

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The following excerpts from an address by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to Iranian officials, published on Thursday, outline Iran's demands of Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany if the deal is to survive: "The U.S. withdrawal is a violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 (establishing the nuclear deal)".

Ayatollah Khamenei added Iran has the right to resume its restricted nuclear activities if the Europeans failed to meet the Islamic Republic's demands.

"What we need is a safe atmosphere for them to do business with Iran and we expect Europeans to provide them that security", adding that China and Russian Federation also needed to contribute. "Europeans must guarantee that they compensate for the loss, and that they buy Iran's oil". The deal lets Iran enrich but under tight restrictions.

"We are still complying but we have not decided whether to yet to stay in the deal or not", the official told a small group of reporters on condition of anonymity.

The 2015 agreement between Iran and world powers lifted worldwide sanctions on Tehran in return for it agreeing to curbs on its nuclear programme. "When we see that the [2015 nuclear deal] was useless, one way forward is to restart those halted activities".

5- The Europeans must counter any kind of USA sanction against Iran.

Some Western companies have already quit Iran or said they may have to leave because of USA sanctions.

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He also said he would reinstate USA nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic. "The Plan B has just started to be figured out", Reuters quoted the official as saying.

Iran has so far benefited less from the accord than it had initially hoped, partly because of remaining USA sanctions that have deterred major Western investors from doing business with Tehran.

The Iranian diplomat added, the Islamic Republic needs a guarantee it will be able to continue to sell its oil on world markets, have worldwide banking access and broad trade protections. But European diplomats involved in the efforts acknowledge uncertainty about whether that would be enough.

The supreme leader called on nations to "guarantee the total sales of Iran's oil", which means the continent will have to make up for any oil sales which have been cancelled because of United States sanctions. Some Western companies have already quit Iran or said they may have to leave because of the new USA sanctions. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday threatened Iran with "the strongest sanctions in history" if it did not change its behavior in the Middle East. He also rejected any new negotiations over Iran's missile programme, which was not covered in the nuclear deal and which Iran says it will never give up. They have said that as long as Tehran meets its commitments, they will stick to the deal.

The U.N. atomic watchdog policing the pact said on Thursday Iran continued to comply with the terms of the deal, but could be faster and more proactive in allowing snap inspections.

The 2015 Iran nuclear deal is now hanging in the balance after Tehran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei issued his demands to European Union powers, which are likely to be rejected by the UK, France and Germany. The IAEA's director general, Yukiya Amano, briefed participants before Friday's meeting.