Khamenei Sets Conditions for Europe to Preserve Nuclear Deal

On May 23, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued six conditions that must be met by Europe for Iran to remain in the nuclear deal. He demanded that Europe secure “a resolution against the U.S. violation” of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Khamenei said Europe must promise to stop objecting to its missile testing and actions in the Middle East as well as to stand against U.S. sanctions. He also sought protection for oil sales and financial transactions with Iran. "If the Europeans linger over our demands, Iran has the right to resume its nuclear activities. When we see that the JCPOA was useless, one way forward is to restart those halted activities," Khamenei warned in an address to government officials.

Khamenei spoke two days after U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo threatened to apply severe economic and military pressure on Iran if it did not make sweeping changes in its foreign and nuclear policies. He criticized the United States for not fulfilling its commitments under multiple administrations and said Tehran could no longer interact with Washington. The following are excerpts from his address.


Ayatollah Khamenei“Since the beginning of the revolution till today, the U.S. has committed all kinds of animosity to hit the Islamic Republic and has plotted various political, economic, military and propaganda schemes against the Islamic Republic. All these actions aimed at ‘overthrowing’ the Islamic Republic, a word which is repeated constantly, is not something new.

All their plots have failed. You can compare the Islamic Republic now to 40 years ago, and see that it is moving forward with various capabilities. So, all their plots have failed... just like Tom from the well-known Tom and Jerry cartoon; and they will fail again in the future. We have no doubt in the failure of the enemy; and anyone who is familiar with Islamic thought knows this.

The current U.S. president will have no better fate than that of his predecessors, like Bush, the other Neocons, and Reagan; he will be lost in history.”

“The introduction to every decision is that we refer to our own experiences, if we do not learn from past experiences, we will surely be at loss. We have several experiences before us, as I refer to some salient examples, all of you will admit: these are important for decision making, today, and for the next generations.”

“The first lesson is that the Islamic Republic government cannot interact with the U.S. This is the first experience. Why? Because the US does not fulfill its commitments. Don’t say this is only true for the administration of Trump. No! The previous administration in the US, with whom we had meetings and talks, behaved in the same manner, but they rejected the agreement in a different manner. They also threatened [us] and went against their commitments. This is an answer to all those who, repeatedly, over time asked me, “why don’t we negotiate with the US, or why don’t we develop relations with the US?”

“The animosity of the U.S. is not based on an issue like the nuclear issue, but it goes beyond such matters: the Islamic Republic is a government that has grown powerful, it, in no way, compromises with the U.S., and has risen the flag of Islam. The U.S. is strongly opposed to such a government. The U.S. seeks to obliterate the factors of power in the Islamic Republic.”

“The third experience is that flexibility with regard to this enemy will not make it less aggressive, but it makes him more aggressive. When the Iranian government at the time of George W. Bush Senior showed some flexibility, the U.S. named it the Axis of Evil. If you want to do something to reduce the animosity, do it; but it is not realized through flexibility and compromise.”

“We do not want to fight with Europe, but these three countries have proved that, on the most sensitive issues, they follow the U.S. The immoral behaviour of France as the bad police in nuclear negotiations and the obstructionism of the UK in production of Yellow Cake were some examples.”



“The sixth experience is to never rely on the JCPOA and foreign matters for our domestic matters… we should not attach domestic matters to some affairs which are out of our control.”

"We must learn from our mistakes, and from our experience, and must not be satisfied with marginal effects. For example, it is said that the U.S. lost face in this JCPOA business. That is right. But did we negotiate so that they lose face, or did we negotiate to lift the sanctions? Now they are saying that there will be secondary sanctions.

Or, it is said that the relationship between the U.S. and Europe has deteriorated. But did we sit at the negotiations table for this? Of course, Europe will not stand in the United States' way. Let's be realistic and not count on probabilities. It was said at the beginning of the negotiations that 100 billion dollars would enter the country. This was not true. Now, the insolent president of the United States sometimes even says that 150 billion dollars was given to Iran by them. What nonsense. When did you ever give us anything?

What we project about our interests must be true and told to the people clearly."

“There is much evidence. Some European companies have left. Some of them are leaving, or they say they are not sure if they will remain. The heads of European countries say different things. For our economy, we cannot rely on JCPOA and the Europeans. These three countries acted against their word some thirteen or fourteen years ago; in the nuclear negotiations, they promised and didn’t keep their promise, now they should prove that they won’t repeat the same untruthfulness and prevarication this time. During the last two years, the U.S. violated the JCPOA several times, and Europe remained silent. Europe must compensate for that silence."



"The continuation of the JCPOA possible only if Europe provides six concrete guarantees:

  • The U.S. has rejected the Resolution 2231; Europe needs to issue a resolution against the U.S. violation of it.
  • Europe must promise not to raise the issues of missiles and regional affairs of the Islamic Republic.
  • Europe must encounter any sanction against the Islamic Republic and explicitly stand [up] to U.S. sanctions.
  • Europe must guarantee that Iran’s oil will be completely sold. If the U.S. can damage the sale of our oil, we must be able to sell as much oil as we want. Europeans must guarantee that they compensate for the loss, and that they buy Iran’s oil.
  • European banks must guarantee transactions with the Islamic Republic. We have no conflicts with regard to these three countries; but we do not trust them, based on previous experience.”

"If the Europeans linger over our demands, Iran has the right to resume its nuclear activities. When we see that the JCPOA was useless, one way forward is to restart those halted activities."

"Our enemy has placed the war room in the Treasury Department, instead of the Ministry of Defense. In the same way, we must place the entity for encountering the malignancy of this enemy in the economic center of the government, and the foreign ministry must cooperate.”

Click here to read the full speech. 


Photo Credits: Ali Khamenei By [CC BY 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons