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CIA chief's admission shows US moral bankruptcy: Iran FM

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran says the recent admission made by CIA Director Mike Pompeo has put the United States' moral bankruptcy on full display.

"In the past Iran was sanctioned over false claims that it sought nuclear weapons. Now, sanctions must be re-imposed because we seek no nukes?" Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a post on his official Twitter account on Friday.

At his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday, US President Donald Trump's pick to become Washington's top diplomat played down fears that he might advocate withdrawing from the landmark nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.

Pompeo said he would continue working with US European allies to try to strengthen and "fix" the agreement.

"I want to fix this deal. That's the objective," Pompeo said, adding, "If there is no chance to fix it, I'll recommend to the president we do our level best to work with our allies to achieve a better outcome and a better deal."

Trump is a stern critic of the nuclear deal agreed between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia - and Germany. Under the agreement, nuclear-related sanctions put in place against Iran were lifted in exchange for curbs on Tehran's nuclear program.

The US president on January 12 reluctantly agreed to waive sanctions against Iran that were lifted as part of the landmark deal, but threatened to withdraw from the accord if some "disastrous flaws" were not fixed.

He said he wanted America's European allies to use the 120-day period before sanctions relief again came up for renewal to agree to tougher measures and new conditions, otherwise Washington would pull out of the deal.

Despite Trump's charges that Tehran has violated the "spirit" of the agreement, Pompeo said he has "seen no evidence that they are not in compliance today."

Iran's nuclear chief said on Sunday it would be humiliating for Europe to follow suit with the US policy on the JCPOA.

“This is a very complicated question in political terms and needs extensive analysis…. Suffice to say that it will be politically derogatory for Europe to follow the US policy on the JCPOA” unquestioningly, because it proves that European countries lack independence in their decision-making process, Ali Akbar Salehi, who heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said.

Salehi's remarks came after the US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said on April 6 that Washington would probably get out of the Iran nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

She accused Iran of supporting terrorism and violating the terms of the JCPOA and said Europeans were closing their eyes on this, but added that the US would not do so.

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