Aug 17, 2018 08:12 Asia/Tehran

The US State Department has launched a new team to step up pressure on Iran, continuing with its hostile policies vis-a-vis Tehran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the establishment of the 'Iran Action Group' at a news conference on Thursday. 

According to an Iran Press report, Pompeo said the group will be responsible for directing, reviewing and coordinating all aspects of the department's Iran-related activity, and that the team will report directly to him. The group is also to coordinate US policies toward Iran with other government organizations and foreign countries.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also made some wild and unsubstantiated claims against Iran, accusing Iran of supporting terrorism, pursuing nuclear weapons,  and destabilizing  activities.

The secretary of state also named the department's senior policy adviser Brian Hook as the head of the new  Iran Action Group and Washington's special representative for Iran.  Brian Hook also made some baseless claims against Iran, accusing Iran of developing nuclear weapons.  

Pompeo stressed that Iran must change its behavior both inside and outside its borders. He said President Donald Trump is making strategy towards Iran a multinational undertaking, and that the new group will be key going forward.

Donald Trump announced America's withdrawal  from the nuclear deal, JCPOA, on 8 May 2018.  The move was widely condemned by the international community, including America's European allies, Britain, France and Germany.  French president, Emanuel Macron, said the withdrawal showed that America was never serious about the nuclear deal, JCPOA.

The United States reinstated its illegal unilateral sanctions against Iran last week. Russia, China, and the European Union all oppose America's unilateral sanctions against Tehran.

The Leader of Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, received thousands of people who eagerly rushed to meet him  on Monday 13 August.  

Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that sanctions may play a role in creating the current economic situation, but that domestic factors are stronger role players on the matter by saying: Not that sanctions are not playing a role, but the main reasons lie in the measures taken within the country. If actions are taken more efficiently, more prudently, more swiftly and more firmly, sanctions cannot have much effect and they can be resisted.

Ayatollah Khamenei elaborated to the audience why Iran has decided not to negotiate with the United States and asserted: Why won’t we negotiate? The U.S. negotiations formula is this:

- Because the Americans rely on money and power, they consider negotiations as a commercial exchange.

- When the U.S. wants to negotiate with a party, they determine their main goals, and then they won’t retreat even a step away from these goals.

- They demand that the other party to pay a privilege immediately; and if the other party refuses to comply with them, they start to make a fuss, so the other party would surrender.

- The U.S. itself does not pay anything in exchange for what it takes from the other party. The U.S. only makes strong promises in order to deceive the other party with hollow promises.

- In the final stage, after receiving all the immediate advantages, the U.S. reneges on its  promises.

He further added: This is the method of the American negotiations. Now should we negotiate with such a fraudulent government? The JCPOA was a clear example of this. Though, I was very exigent about it, the red lines weren’t actually respected.

Finally Ayatollah Khamenei banned any negotiations with the U.S., saying: The Islamic Republic can negotiate with the U.S. only when it reaches the power and sovereignty that would nullify U.S.’s pressures and domineering efforts; when those efforts have no effect on Iran. Today this is not the case. Thus, I will ban negotiations with the U.S. just as Imam [Khomeini] did.

Infographic: Leader : Iran will not negotiate with US

Zarif: Iran will not change its regional policies because of US sanctions"

Iran's envoy calls on European countries to stand against US sanctions

Sanctions boost Iran economy: Larijani