In Speech, Pompeo Piles on Against Iran After Nuclear Deal Withdrawal

Marcus Newton
May 23, 2018

The United States will increase the financial pressure on Iran with the "strongest sanctions in history", after Washington pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Teheran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said.

"That a man who has spent years working in a spying center, now - in the shoes of the foreign minister of the US - wants to makes decisions for Iran and other countries is in no way acceptable", Rouhani said, according to the Iranian Students News Agency.

Pompeo said he will work with the Defense Department and regional allies - a group that includes Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States - to "deter Iranian aggression in the region, including at sea and in cyberspace". Pompeo flew to Brussels for a NATO Foreign Ministers meeting just hours after being sworn in. "But today, a government is in office in the United States that returned their country fifteen years back overnight and is repeating the same words of 2003 and 2004", he said.

"We believe that without this agreement, we would take the risk that Iran resumes its nuclear program", he said.

The Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning on Monday said the US will take all necessary steps against Iran's alleged malicious activities in the region.

On May 8, President Donald Trump chose to end the U.S.'s participation in the Iran nuclear deal, which was signed in 2015 by the administration of former President Barack Obama. "We couldn't reach an agreement there", Pompeo said of his efforts.

Reacting to Pompeo's comments, Boris Johnson - foreign secretary of Britain, which is party to the 2015 nuclear deal - said the "jumbo negotiation" sought by Washington would be extremely hard to achieve within a "reasonable timetable". "You should know that we will hold those doing prohibited business in Iran to account".

Mike Pompeo Promises 'Strongest Sanctions In History' On Iran

"We are not asking anything other than that Iranian behavior be consistent with global norms", Pompeo said. "Are these two not responsible for wasting Iranian lives throughout the Middle East?"

Also responding to Pompeo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif accused the U.S. of a "regression to old habits", saying Washington's diplomatic efforts were a "sham".

It has spread its influence across parts of the Middle East where there are large communities of fellow Shia Muslims, from Iraq to Lebanon. "We will continue our path with the support of our nation", Rouhani said, as quoted by ILNA news agency.

In return, sanctions imposed by the UN, US and European Union that had crippled Iran's economy were lifted. "Iran hid the archives, lied about it [and] moved it from place to place, because they are seeking nuclear weapons". They contend that is is a hodgepodge of approaches that will not work. The closest he came to that was saying, "We hope, indeed we expect, that the Iranian regime will come to its senses and support - not suppress - the aspirations of its own citizens".

European nations, as well as Russian Federation and China, are vowing to stand by the deal - formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - that Iran reached with six world powers and are trying to insulate their companies from the promised sanctions even though that's an uphill effort.

"From my conversations with European friends I know that they broadly share these same views of what the Iranian regime must do to gain acceptance in the worldwide community", Pompeo said, calling on allies to join the pressuring Iran to change. It arrested US citizens even as its diplomats were negotiating the nuclear deal. "US diplomacy sham is merely a regression to old habits: imprisoned by delusions & failed policies", he said, adding that Tehran was working with the five other countries that signed the 2015 nuclear accord to save it.

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Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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