Iran's President Hassan Rouhani lashed out at US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, saying that the world would not accept that Washington impose its decisions on other countries.
"That's nonsense, nothing can be agreed on this basis", he said from Vienna in a video conference.
Getting significant multilateral buy-in for US sanctions is key to effectively pressuring Iran, but could take a while, said Benham Taleblu, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Pompeo outlined 12 conditions that the United States considers prerequisites for any firm agreement with the Islamic Republic, including giving up ballistic missiles, ending support for terror and halting threats against Israel, among other demands.
This new list of demands and Washington's increasingly hostile rhetoric will undoubtedly result in another escalation of attacks against Rouhani.
Pompeo said on Monday the United States would exert unprecedented pressures on Iran, including the toughest sanctions ever, if Tehran refused to revise its policies.
On Friday, the European Commission launched "the blocking statute" process to protect Europeans from United States sanctions on Iran as part of efforts to preserve the nuclear deal with Tehran. "We are in the situation that we're in".
The measure was taken after some European companies announced their intention to wind down business in Iran, raising questions about how much the EU can deliver on its promises. "But you should know that we will hold those doing prohibited business in Iran to account".
The world's experience with regime change in Iraq should make clear why this is a awful idea.
"Pompeo has not outlined a strategy, but rather a grab bag of wishful thinking that can only be interpreted as a call for regime change in Iran", said Suzanne Maloney, an Iran expert at the Brookings Institution.
GETTYIranian President Hassan Rouhani
And the EU's foreign policy chief said there was "no alternative" to the Iran nuclear deal.
The deal was created to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. A bad decision such as imposing even tougher sanctions on Iran, an attempt at regime change, or a military strike of any sort would push the country towards a military theocracy far more repressive and uncompromising than before both at home and overseas.
Among the items on Pompeo's wish list is a full acknowledgment of Iran's previous attempts to develop a nuclear weapon. Pompeo essentially demanded Iran's total submission without offering anything in return aside from the hazy prospect of sanctions relief at some future date.
"This will only lead to one thing: confrontation", he said.
In his Senate confirmation hearing last month, Pompeo said he saw no evidence that Iran was seeking to build a nuclear bomb given the constraints of the 2015 arms control deal.
Pompeo stopped short of calling directly for regime change, but he urged Iranians to think of Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif as part of a corrupt, venal and risky regime.
Salehi said "until these promises are not implemented and put into practice, we can not speak firmly". "Yet, Rouhani and Zarif are your elected leaders".
Besides imposing unbearable economic costs, he also vowed to "crush" Iranian operatives and their proxies so Tehran will "never have the carte blanche to dominate the Middle East".
Whatever Trump may eventually decide to do, he should not claim to do it in the name of "the long-suffering people of Iran".