Pompeo warns Iran of strongest sanctions ever

Pompeo warns Iran of strongest sanctions ever

Pompeo warns Iran of strongest sanctions ever

Pompeo was aiming to answer the question of what happens next following Trump's announcement this month that he was pulling the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal.

"The sting of sanctions will be painful if the regime does not change its course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen to one that rejoins the league of nations".

European nations, as well as Russian Federation and China, are vowing to stand by the deal - formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - that Iran reached with six world powers and are trying to insulate their companies from the promised sanctions even though that's an uphill effort.

Pompeo warned that if Iran fully resumed its nuclear program Washington would be ready to respond and said the administration would hold companies doing prohibited business in Iran to account.

In return, sanctions imposed by the UN, US and European Union that had crippled Iran's economy were lifted.

Also responding to Pompeo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif accused the USA of a "regression to old habits", saying Washington's diplomatic efforts were a "sham".

In his first major foreign policy address as secretary of state, Pompeo listed a dozen demands, an agenda encompassing Iran's foreign policy ventures as well as its nuclear and missile programs. The Europeans are searching for ways to protect their own companies from sanctions that Trump reimposed, though some big multinational firms already were avoiding business in Iran due to the uncertainty over the deal's fate.

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Some hardliners within Iran want to withdraw from both the JCPOA and the Non Proliferation Treaty, which prohibits signatories from developing nuclear weapons. 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. Rather, he demanded Iran's complete capitulation on 12 points.

Media captionWhat is the Iran nuclear deal?

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the sort of "jumbo Iran deal" Pompeo envisioned would not be "very easy to achieve in anything like a reasonable timescale". The secretary appealed to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a hard-liner, to "summon the courage to do something historically beneficial" for his people.

The new US strategy "is no longer about Trump fulfilling campaign promises or trying to satisfy his own ego re: a 'bigger, better deal, ' " she added.

Trump and Pompeo claim to have a strategy for how to do all of this and more.

The speech lacked specifics in many areas, namely how the Administration will mobilize key players in the global economy to side with it in punishing Iran. Pompeo seems to have abandoned the pretense that European allies will exit the deal. "Over the coming weeks, we will send teams of specialists to countries around the world to further explain the Administration's policy, discuss the implications of sanctions re-imposition, and hear your concerns". But the challenges that the accord faces have grown since Trump withdrew the United States from it on May 8th. Other analysts said the remarks amounted to a push for new leadership in Tehran and a return to traditional USA policy that could carry risks for the Trump administration.

Pompeo - a longtime Iran hawk and fierce opponent of the 2015 agreement - earlier outlined an aggressive series of "painful" measures created to hurt Tehran, in his first key address since moving to the State Department from the Central Intelligence Agency in April. A key envoy involved with the deal told me that his reaction to Pompeo's speech was "a silence full of anxiety, disbelief and sadness".

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