Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded that Iran halt all uranium enrichment, stop its ballistic-missile program and give nuclear inspectors access to the entire country, in a speech detailing the US approach now that President Donald Trump has withdrawn from the 2015 nuclear deal.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has unveiled a far-reaching list of demands for any new nuclear deal with Iran, and threatened economy-crushing sanctions if Tehran does not change its behavior.
The speech didn't clarify how Washington would go about imposing the toughest sanctions without the full cooperation of Russia, China and the EU.
Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Darrell West told Xinhua that the most important element of Pompeo's speech was the threat to impose the strongest sanctions on Iran in that country's history. The Indian government, already hot and bothered under the collar by the impending sanctions on account of both Russian Federation and Iran, is unlikely to ask for waivers.
He did not mention Russian Federation or China, which both signed the nuclear accord and are unlikely to back greater US sanctions on Iran, a clear weakness in any new crackdown on Iran.
Rouhani scoffed at the demands from Pompeo, a former congressman who was previously Trump's Central Intelligence Agency director.
"The US Secretary of State's yesterday speech was a physiological war against Iran rather than a politically motivated move", Razi Haji-Aqamiri told Trend on May 22.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lays out the Trump administration's new Iran strategy at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative public policy think tank, in Washington, on May 21, 2018.
Pompeo's list of demands were wide-ranging, a reflection of the Trump administration's multipronged criticism of the Iran nuclear deal.
US President Donald Trump's newly installed top diplomat also hinted at the possibility of military action should Iranian leaders reconstitute their nuclear program.
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The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany had considered and then scrapped plans to build a bridge over the Kerch strait. The US State Department on Tuesday condemned the partial opening of the bridge across the Kerch Strait.
"Pompeo's speech has not demonstrated how walking away from the JCPOA has made or will make the region safer from the threat of nuclear proliferation or how it puts us in a better position to influence Iran's conduct", she said on Monday.
Iran poured scorn on threatened US sanctions on Tuesday and told European powers to step up and salvage its worldwide nuclear deal - though Germany signalled there was only so much it could do to fend off Washington's economic clout. The requirement that nuclear inspectors get universal access would include military sites - long a red line for the regime. "The worldwide community expects all sides to keep the commitments they made more than two years ago", she added.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani promptly rejected Pompeo's assertion.
"One of the big factors for how the Iranians will react is what oil importers will do and how well the energy system can cope", another European Union official said.
Pompeo also demanded Iran stop supporting Middle East militant groups, including Lebanon's Hezbollah, the Palestinian Hamas group, the Houthi militias in Yemen, as well as Taliban forces in Afghanistan.
Member of the National Security Council and the Foreign Policy Committee at the Iranian Parliament, MP Hashmatullah Flahat Bisha, compared the current US stance with that of former US President Georges W. Bush.
"The Iranian regime should know that this is just the beginning", Pompeo warned. "But not its actions which jeopardize the world's citizens".
On Europe's concerns about Iran's regional role and missile program, the Iranian deputy foreign minister said that these concerns had existed when nuclear negotiations started. Instead, Trump wants North Korea to give up everything first.
In his Senate confirmation hearing last month, Pompeo said he saw no evidence that Iran was seeking to build a nuclear bomb given the constraints of the 2015 arms control deal.
"He will not live forever, nor will the Iranian people abide the rigid rule of tyrants forever", Pompeo said.