Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, has threatened Iran with”the most powerful sanctions ever” and vowed to use all of military and economic pressure to”crush” Tehran’s operatives and proxies across the world.
The threat comes just after President Donald Trump announced he would draw the United States from the Iran nuclear agreement — known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA — which he deemed flawed because it didn’t keep Iran from analyzing ballistic missiles and could finally perish.
Mr Trump additionally argued that Iran wasn’t in compliance with the basic intention of the agreement — to restrict Iran from enriching weapons-grade uranium — even though the US State Department and the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had equally confirmed compliance repeatedly. The deal was not intended to deal with ballistic missile development.
Mr Pompeo has required major changes from Iran, and has vowed that the country won’t create a nuclear weapon,”not today, not ever”.
The secretary of state announced a listing of 12 requirements that Iran must meet before a new deal can be agreed. He said Iran must allow nuclear inspectors”unqualified entry to all sites throughout the country”, alluding to military sites that were off-limits under the 2015 deal except under specific conditions. To that end, he also said Iran has to declare all previous attempts to construct a nuclear weapon,” reopening an issue that the IAEA has already deemed a closed issue.
During his address at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington, Mr Pompeo also latched onto one of Mr Trump’s major concerns with encouraging the nuclear deal — that it did little to curb what the US has called Iran’s”destabilising” actions in the region and beyond.
A number of those demands require that Iran cease from a variety of activities across the Middle East that have drawn the ire of the US and its allies. He said Iran must end service for Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen,”withdraw all forces” out of Syria, halt support for its ally Hezbollah and quit threatening Israel.
Other demands are that Iran stops developing ballistic missiles, it releases Americans held in detention in the nation, and that it stops encouraging groups from the Middle East regarded as terrorist organisations from the United States.
“Is this what you need your country to be known for?” “The United States believe you deserve better”
In his first major policy address Mr Pompeo stated he’ll work with the US Defence Department and regional allies — a group that includes Israel, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states — to”deter Iranian aggression in the region” including at sea and in cyberspace.
“That is only the start,” Mr Pompeo said on Monday of the sanctions which are set to go back into effect now that the US is withdrawing from the agreement, which was also brokered by the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany. “The sting of sanctions will probably be painful. These will be the strongest sanctions in history when complete.”
“Following our sanctions come into full force, it will be battling to keep its market alive,” Mr Pompeo said. “Iran will be forced to make a choice: fight to maintain its market off life support at home or maintain wasting precious wealth on struggles abroad. It won’t have the resources to do both.”
Mr Pompeo’s danger was created through the prism of possible positive results for Iranians, since he offered a possible exit for Iran. Tehran will be granted a series of remarkable potential US concessions if it succeeds to make”major changes”. Under a new agreement, Washington would be willing to lift all sanctions, restore full diplomatic and commercial ties with Iran, and also support the modernisation of its economy, Mr Pompeo said.
“Unlike the previous government, we are looking for outcomes that benefit the Iranian people, not just the regime,” he added.
Mr Trump’s decision to pull the US out of this agreement comes as his government conducts negotiations with North Korea in an effort to dismantle its atomic programme. Mr Pompeo has said that those talks — that have been in doubt recently — could act as a template for future Iranian discussions.
Other signatories on the Iran deal in Europe have signalled that they will remain committed to it in the wake of Washington’s conclusion, even though it remains unclear how European businesses who’ve made deals in Iran may navigate reimposed US sanctions on the nation.
After Mr Pompeo’s threats, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani pushed right back, saying that the time when the United States could simply induce the rest of the planet to act how they need is over, according to state owned websites.
“Who are you to decide for Iran and the planet? The world today does not accept America to decide for the world, as countries are independent. . That age is over… We will continue our path with the support of our nation,” Mr Rouhani stated, according to ILNA.
“Secretary Pompeo’s address has not shown how walking apart in your JCPOA has made or can make the area safer from the threat of nuclear proliferation or how it places us in a better position to affect Iran’s behavior in areas outside the range of JCPOA,” Ms Mogherini explained.