In his first major foreign policy address since becoming secretary of state, Mike Pompeo laid out conditions which, if fulfilled by Tehran, could salvage the landmark Obama-era Iran nuclear deal.
On May 8, President Trump announced the U.S. was withdrawing from the agreement.
Addressing attendees at a Monday gathering at the Heritage Foundation, Pompeo told the audience if Iran agreed to firmer terms in a renegotiated deal, the U.S. would lift sanctions.
Vowing the “harshest” sanctions yet against Tehran, Pompeo 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 abroad. It will not have the resources to do both.”
Paramount among the U.S. demands is the verifiable abandonment of Iran’s nuclear program.
Similarly, according to Pompeo, the U.S. insists Iran must end its uranium enrichment; must allow access for International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to all nuclear sites; and halt the development of ballistic and nuclear-capable missiles.
Although the U.S. primarily focuses on Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Pompeo set conditions which would seek to curb Iranian influence in Syria and Iraq, and end Iranian attempts at hegemony throughout the region.
Expanding further on the terms under which the U.S. would remain in the deal, Iran must end its support for Hamas, Houthi rebels in Yemen, the Taliban, and Quds Force support for terror groups. In addition to ending assistance to terror groups in the Middle East, Iran must also withdraw troops from Syria.
Pompeo also stated emphatically Iran must release U.S. citizens and citizens of U.S. allies, respect Iraqi borders and cease all threatening behavior at its neighbors.
Just as Pompeo ended his address, Tehran, in a swift response and rebuke, announced it would not agree to any of the U.S. demands.
Reacting to the demands, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blasted the “basic requirements” unveiled by Pompeo and was quoted by ILNA news agency as saying:
“The world today does not accept America to decide for the world. Countries have autonomy, but they do not accept that logic. The guy who has been in the spy center until now, has now been nominated as the U.S. Secretary of State and wants to decide what to do. Do you think about Iran and the world to decide?”
[Washington Free Beacon] [RT] [Photo courtesy AFP via TRTWorld]