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Iran spouts venom

Iran spouts venom
The new US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, was always known to be hawkish; and, echoing the language of his boss, he has continued with his provocative statements against Iran. Naturally, Iran has been spouting venom. "Wherever the US has entered, it has created instability, brought misery to people; that's why US's feet must be cut off from West Asia; the US must exit this region," Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader, tweeted. Khamenei also accused the US of stoking tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Speaking in Saudi Arabia with his Saudi counterpart on Sunday, Pompeo called Iran "the greatest sponsor of terrorism in the world. "That was a very loaded accusation that he did not elaborate upon. The comments seemed to further signal that the US could pull out of the Iran nuclear deal within two weeks. US President Donald Trump has until May 12, a self-imposed deadline, to decide upon whether to continue waiving the sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the Iran deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. As a part of the 2015 pact, agreed to by Trump's predecessor Barack Obama, some European countries, Russia and China, Iran must reduce its uranium stockpile in return for international sanctions being lifted. In the series of tweets, the Ayatollah said that the US planned to provoke "ignorant" governments, an apparent swipe at Saudi Arabia. Riyadh was quick to charge Tehran of arming the Houthi rebels. 'Enlarging' the deal, French President Emmanuel Macron has really been working hard to save it. He spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about "enlarging" the nuclear deal. Meanwhile, the UK, France and Germany, the three European countries party to the deal, have scrambled to preserve the deal in the face of Trump's threats to withdraw. Trump has insisted that a new Iran deal should restrict Iran's missiles. But Iran, it seems, would have none of it. It says that it will resist any efforts to disarm it in any way. Sources have it that Iran can enrich uranium at 'higher capabilities'. The head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran said that Iran's capabilities for uranium enrichment were greater than they were in 2015. The statement appeared to serve as a warning. The Atomic Energy chief said that he hoped Iran would not have to return to the programme and advised Trump to stick to the nuclear deal. Meanwhile, French President
Macron said he wanted to keep the original deal but called for further talks on areas the Trump administration singled out for criticism. Whether Trump agrees to more talks is something he alone knows. But, on the face of it, only good, effective diplomacy and negotiations can prevent matters from escalating to a point of no return.
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