Rouhani says US cannot decide for Iran

ANKARA/WASHINGTON: Iran’s president said on Monday that the United States could not decide for Iran after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded sweeping changes in the country’s foreign and nuclear policies, the semi-official ILNA news agency reported.
“Who are you to decide for Iran and the world? The world today does not accept America to decide for the world, as countries are independent … that era is over … We will continue our path with the support of our nation,” ILNA quoted Hassan Rouhani as saying.
Earlier in the day, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened to impose the “strongest sanctions in history” against Iran if it did not accept a sweeping series of US demands, including effectively giving up its nuclear ambitions and curtailing its ballistic missile programme.
Weeks after the United States pulled out of an international nuclear deal with Iran, Pompeo spelled out a hardline approach towards the Islamic Republic, potentially setting Washington and Tehran on a deeper confrontation course.
“The sting of sanctions will only grow more painful if the government does not change course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen for itself and the people of Iran,” Pompeo said in his first major foreign policy speech since becoming secretary of state. “These will be the strongest sanctions in history by the time we are done,” he added.
Trump this month withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement aimed at preventing Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Pompeo warned that if Iran fully resumed its nuclear programme Washington would be ready to respond and said the administration would hold companies doing prohibited business in Iran to account. — Reuters