Pompeo says US to impose ‘strongest’ sanctions on Iran

Mike Pompeo delivers remarks on the Trump administration’s Iran policy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington on May 21, 2018. (Reuters)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday threatened to impose the “strongest sanctions in history” against Iran if the country’s leadership did not change the course of its foreign and domestic policy.

Weeks after the United States pulled out of an international nuclear deal with Iran, Pompeo spelled out a hardline approach towards the Islamic Republic that included working closely with the Pentagon and regional allies to contain Iran.

Pompeo laid out 12 demands for Iran and said relief from economic sanctions would only come when Washington had seen tangible shifts in Iran’s policies.

Prohibited business

Pompeo said the United States would hold those doing prohibited business in Iran to account. His threat of further sanctions came as European parties to the landmark nuclear deal - France, Britain and Germany - were working to find a way to keep the pact in effect with Iran after Washington’s exit.

Pompeo said Washington would be open to a new treaty and wanted the support of America’s allies. Earlier this month, Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement which he called a “horrible, one-sided deal”, saying it did not address Iran’s ballistic missile activities and check in its regional behavior.

Iran reacts

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remarks on Iran strategy showed that the United State was after regime change in the Islamic Republic, a senior Iranian official told Reuters on Monday.

“America wants to pressure Iran to surrender and accept their illegal demands ... his remarks showed that America is surely after regime change in Iran,” the official said in reaction to Pompeo’s remarks, in which he said the US would impose the “strongest sanctions in history” against the Iranian leadership.

US cannot decide

Meanwhile, Iran’s president said on Monday that the United States could not decide for Iran after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded sweeping changes in the country’s foreign and nuclear policies, the semi-official ILNA news agency reported.

“Who are you to decide for Iran and the world? The world today does not accept America to decide for the world, as countries are independent ... that era is over ... We will continue our path with the support of our nation,” ILNA quoted Hassan Rouhani as saying.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52
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