Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during Friday prayers in Tehran September 14, 2007. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl
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For all of Iran's fierce verbal response to fresh U.S. threats of tougher sanctions, some senior officials in Tehran believe the door to diplomacy should stay open.CUP OF POISONEarlier this month the U.S. withdrew from a 2015 multinational deal that restricted Iran's nuclear program in return for lifting sanctions that had crippled the economy.With Iran's economy so fragile, weakened by decades of sanctions, corruption and mismanagement, Khamenei may yet consider diplomacy over confrontation with the U.S.A third Iranian official said he expected that the United States would eventually have to accept some level of Iranian uranium enrichment activity and ballistic missile work, because "these are Iran's red lines".In his speech, Pompeo tried to quash talk of war by saying Washington would lift punishing sanctions it is now moving to impose, restore diplomatic and commercial ties and allow Iran to have access to advanced technology if Washington saw tangible shifts in Iran's policies.DECLARATION OF WARSeveral Iranian officials told Reuters that the hardline elite, including Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, viewed Pompeo's demands as a "declaration of war" against Iran.
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