Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has condemned the US for vowing to impose what it said would be the “strongest sanctions in history” on his country.
Measures outlined by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he said, showed the US was a prisoner of its “failed policies” and it would suffer the consequences.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also criticised the US.
She said Mr Pompeo had failed to show how dropping the 2015 nuclear deal would make the Middle East safer.
There was, she said, “no alternative” to the agreement, which US President Donald Trump vowed earlier this month to abandon, and she said the EU would stick by it if Iran met its commitments.
Despite the EU’s official position, some of Europe’s biggest firms who rushed to do business with Iran after the nuclear deal now find themselves forced to choose between investing there or trading with the US.
What did Pompeo announce?
US sanctions lifted after the 2015 deal would be re-imposed, he said, and those and new measures would together constitute “unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime”.
He set out conditions for any new deal with Iran, including the withdrawal of its forces from Syria and an end to its support for rebels in Yemen.
The older US sanctions prohibited almost all trade with Iran.
Mr Pompeo did not say what new measures Washington was contemplating but described sanctions imposed last week on the head of Iran’s central bank as “just the beginning”.