Pompeo Raises the Price for Iran to Rejoin International Community


President Barack Obama said the only alternative to the weak-kneed deal was war, and some Trump critics have said his abandonment of the deal could send Iran scurrying to get its nukes, something that would now take about a year as compared to maybe three months before the deal.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday launched a sweeping broadside against the Iranian government, vowing to use all USA economic and military might to destroy its economy and "crush" its operatives and proxies around the world.

Mr Pompeo, in his first major foreign policy address since becoming the top United States diplomat, vowed to "crush" Iran's proxies and operatives around the world.

"These will be the strongest sanctions in history by the time we are done", said Pompeo.

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".

Mike Pompeo speaking in Washington
Mike Pompeo speaking in Washington Credit Reuters

Russian Federation and China - two other parties to the agreement - have also criticized the United States move and vowed to maintain trade with Iran.

To that end, he also said Iran must declare all previous efforts to build a nuclear weapon, reopening an issue that the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency has already deemed a closed matter.

"We will track down Iranian operatives and their Hizbollah proxies operating around the world and crush them", he said.

"Iran will be forced to make a choice: either fight to keep its economy off life support at home or keep squandering precious wealth on fights overseas", Pompeo said.

The Iran project director at the International Crisis Group said that the tone of Pompeo's speech could be interpreted by Iran as an unequivocal call by the United States to undergo a change in government. "At the end of the day, the Iranian people will put a time line" on their government, he said. "I don't just mean our friends in Europe", Mr Pompeo said.

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"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. "To think that we'd allow Iran to go back on the path of developing nuclear weapons while we try to get Iran to meet all twelve objectives is risky".

Federica Mogherini, the European Union foreign policy chief, was similarly dismissive. Pompeo says that deal was a loser.

Other demands the Iranians are unlikely to go along with include stopping uranium enrichment and ballistic missile tests, and allowing global inspectors access to all sites, including military locations where critics suspect clandestine research.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that countries with nuclear weapons were "threatening the world", and criticised the United States's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. And they are going to do this with a president whom most USA allies don't trust and who has proved that he will not abide by agreements negotiated in good faith?

The deal was created to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Ponder how North Koreans recently released three American prisoners as a prelude to talks while the Iranians released no American prisoners until Obama provided a ransom that he and confused supporters said was not a ransom.

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French energy giant Total has also warned it will pull out of a multibillion-dollar project to develop Iran's vast South Pars gas field unless granted a waiver by USA authorities.

"Relief from sanctions will come only when we see tangible, demonstrated, and sustained shifts in Tehran's policies", Pompeo said. He did not give a date for the meeting with Pompeo. Are they not the most responsible for your economic struggles?

The United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash responded to Pompeo's remarks by saying that the U.S. was taking the right approach towards Iran.

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