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Trump pulled out of a 2015 pact that the USA and a group of world powers, including Germany, negotiated to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic penalties.

Calling the Iranian government a bunch of "bad actors", Pompeo held out slim hope for its behavior to moderate and to negotiate over USA concerns such as its ballistic missile testing and its support for militants in the region. "That's the behavioral change that we're looking for from the Iranian regime".

"We are happy to talk if there's an arrangement that is appropriate, that could lead to a good outcome", he said. "This action of Trump is meant to make up for the lost credibility of the US and seeks to say that Iran is unwilling to hold talks", the lawmaker opined.

According to S&P Global Platts, Iranian oil production is already under pressure because of approaching sanctions. Iranian oil sales are a crucial source of hard currency. However, only 13 planes have been delivered since sanctions on Iran were lifted under the nuclear pact.

"Bringing foreign currencies and raw gold into the country, according to the Central Bank laws, is legal and exempt from value-added tax and legal duties", Abdolnasser Hemmati, the head of the Central Bank of Iran, was quoted in the official Islamic Republic News Agency as saying.

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Immediately after Trump said he was ready to meet his Iranian counterpart, his chief diplomat Mike Pompeo sounded a quite different tone. Trump administration officials also argued that because the United States lifted sanctions against Iran as part of the agreement, it in effect stripped Washington of one of its most powerful tools to penalize Tehran. "We have no problems, so why should our people worry?", Hemmati said in a live televised interview.

The officials who spoke to Reuters said the campaign, consisting of speeches and online material paints Iranian leaders in a harsh light, at times using information that is exaggerated or contradicts other official pronouncements, including comments by previous administrations.

"The president is trying to find a way to move forward, but it's going to require enormous change on the part of the Iranian regime", Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said Sunday.

"Iran will be forced to make a choice: either fight to keep its economy off life support at home or keep squandering precious wealth on fights overseas".

Speaking with reporters on Air Force One on Sunday, Pompeo described Tehran's leadership as "bad actors" and said the president's goal is to get Iran to "behave like a normal country". Many then thought he would come up with a compromise to let European firms continue trading.


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