Iran’s supreme leader 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 on Wednesday 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 important 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.