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Iran urges EU to ‘grow a spine’ as US senators seek tougher line

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (L), British Secretary of State Dominic Raab (C) and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (R) meet on September 10, 2020.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry says the United States’ “high-handed treatment” of other nations continues unabated under the Biden administration, calling on the European Union to “grow a spine” in response to such bullying.

“Don’t mean to interrupt anyone’s honeymoon, but it sounds like Pompeo-style US ‘diplomacy’ is here to stay,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh wrote in a tweet on Thursday evening.

“Should be yet another wake-up call: US’ high-handed treatment of others, didn’t start with Trump & won’t end after him,” Khatibzadeh said. “Friendly advice to the E3/EU: Grow a spine.”

Don't mean to interrupt anyone's honeymoon, but it sounds like Pompeo-style US "diplomacy" is here to stay.

Should be yet another wake-up call: US' high-handed treatment of others, didn't start with Trump & won't end after him.

Friendly advice to the E3/EU: Grow a spine.

— Saeed Khatibzadeh (@SKhatibzadeh) March 25, 2021

Khatibzadeh was hinting at recent remarks by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who threatened any entity involved in Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline with sanctions.

“The Biden administration has made clear (Russia-EU) Nord Stream 2 is a bad deal,” Blinken said via Twitter on March 18. “We continue to monitor activity and warn any entity involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will risk sanctions.”

He added that the Biden administration remains committed to complying with the congressional legislation in this regard.

Khatibzadeh’s criticism of the so-called E3, which includes France, Britain and Germany, was also directed at the three countries’ inaction in the face of the United States’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, also called the JCPOA, under the Trump administration.

Since the US withdrawal, Iran has repeatedly criticized the E3 for failing to protect its interests under the JCPOA. In the last two months, Tehran has criticized the Biden administration and the E3 for failing to revive the nuclear deal and lift the Trump-era sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Senators urge 'full force' of tools against Iran 

On Thursday, a group of Democratic and Republican senators called on President Biden to aim for an expansive Iran deal that would include Iran’s missile program, regional activities and nuclear program.

“Looking ahead, we strongly believe that you should use the full force of our diplomatic and economic tools in concert with our allies on the United Nations Security Council and in the region to reach an agreement that prevents Iran from ever acquiring nuclear weapons and meaningfully constrains its destabilizing activity throughout the Middle East and its ballistic missile program,” the senators wrote in a letter to Biden.

The letter, signed by forty-three senators, was spearheaded by Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, and South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham.

“Democrats and Republicans may have tactical differences, but we are united on preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon and addressing the wide range of Iranian behavior,” they claimed.

Throughout the years, Iran has consistently denied allegations that it was seeking to develop nuclear weapons, and stressed that its missile program serves self-defense purposes. Tehran has also strongly rejected any renegotiation of the nuclear deal or inclusion of other issues in a broader deal.

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