Iran’s supreme leader accused European governments of “hostility” yesterday, saying their actions showed they cannot be trusted.
“The Europeans present themselves as mediators and say many things, but they are all hollow,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a statement on his official website.
“The countries which hold up the flag of hostility towards the Islamic system should not be trusted, principally America but some of these European countries as well, as they have a clear hostility towards the Iranian nation.”
A landmark 2015 deal that put curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief has been on life support since May last year when President Donald Trump withdrew the US from it and reimposed sanctions.
The remaining parties to the deal with Iran -- Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia -- have tried to salvage the accord, but Tehran has repeatedly accused Europe of not doing enough.
Khamenei’s remarks follow a failed European push led by French President Emmanuel Macron to arrange a meeting between Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York this week.
Addressing the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, Rouhani ruled out a meeting with Trump as long as the US maintain its economic pressure.
Khamenei went further, tweeting that the “doors are open to interaction, negotiation with all countries of the world except Zionist regime & US.”
Meanwhile, the UN’s nuclear watchdog yesterday said Iran has started using advanced models of centrifuges to enrich uranium, in a new breach of the faltering 2015 deal with world powers.Advanced centrifuges at Iran’s Natanz facility “were accumulating, or had been prepared to accumulate, enriched uranium”, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a report seen by AFP.
Under the 2015 deal with world powers, Tehran is only meant to enrich uranium using less efficient IR-1 centrifuges.