Hook: European firms have a choice between doing business with the US or Iran
European companies have a choice to do business with the United States or do business with Iran, US special representative on Iran Brian Hook said.
Hook told reporters in London on Friday that the US president has repeatedly said he would welcome a call from Iran.
He also said that “if we don’t prevent Iran from laying deep roots in Yemen, Iran will be in a position to close the Strait of Hormuz.”
“We will intensify sanctions on Iran until it decides to be a normal state,” Hook said adding that the United States wants a change of Iranian behavior, not a change of the Iranian regime.
“We will sanction any imports of Iranian crude oil... There are right now no oil waivers in place,” Brian Hook said when asked about the sale of Iranian crude to Asia, adding that the United States would take a look at reports of Iranian crude going to China.
“We will sanction any illicit purchases of Iranian crude oil,” Hook added.
“We are on track to deny Iran $50 billion in oil revenue alone,” he said.
“Iran does have a history of using front companies to evade sanctions and enrich the regime and fund its foreign adventurism,” Hook said, adding that Iran routinely violates maritime law to hide its oil exports.
Last year, Trump pulled the United States out of the multinational deal under which sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs on its nuclear program, verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Washington has since re-imposed tough sanctions on Iran, aiming to cut the Islamic Republic’s oil sales to zero to force it to negotiate a broader deal that would also cover its ballistic missile capabilities and regional influence.
Iran wants to sell its oil at the same levels that it did before Washington withdrew from the accord.
“Iran has just rejected diplomacy too many times,” Hook said. “They have got to stop this sectarian agenda of creating a Shia corridor of power to dominate the Middle East.”
“This is a clerical regime that wants to remake the Middle East in its image - and that would deeply destabilize the Middle East to have regimes following the same Marxist theocratic regime,” he added.
On Friday, US President Donald Trump said that there is “no rush” to resolve tensions between the United States and Iran that have raised fears of a military conflict.
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