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The EU’s foreign policy chief warned Monday there was “no alternative” to the Iran nuclear deal, after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed unprecedented sanctions against Tehran following Washington’s withdrawal from the pact.

Pompeo — a longtime Iran hawk and fierce opponent of the 2015 agreement — earlier outlined an aggressive series of “painful” measures designed to hurt Tehran, in his first key address since moving to the State Department from the CIA in April.

“Secretary Pompeo’s speech has not demonstrated how walking away from the JCPOA (nuclear deal) has made or will make the region safer from the threat of nuclear proliferation or how it puts us in a better position to influence Iran’s conduct in areas outside the scope of JCPOA,” the European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said.

In a statement, she stressed “there is no alternative” to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is officially known.

US President Donald Trump sparked an international outcry earlier this month when he announced his country would pull out of the landmark accord struck in July 2015 between Tehran and major world powers.

His move came despite the fact that the UN’s nuclear watchdog, in charge of monitoring Iran’s compliance with the deal, has confirmed that Tehran has so far abided by the terms.

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