In Speech, Pompeo Piles on Against Iran After Nuclear Deal Withdrawal


Donald Trump announced on 8 May the United States would withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal and since then the USA has threatened to impose "the strongest sanctions in history" and "crush" Iranian operatives overseas and a move that has increased the likelihood of confrontation between Washington and Tehran.

The Administration did hold out the option of full diplomatic and commercial reconciliation with the Islamic Republic-if it agreed to all twelve demands for "tangible, demonstrated, and sustained shifts" in policies.

Like the administration's North Korea strategy, Pompeo said the US would lift sanctions and welcome Iran to the global economic system if it dramatically changed its behavior.

The Iranians are unlikely to go along with any of Pompeo's demands, including a stop to uranium enrichment and ballistic missile tests, and allowing global inspectors access to all sites.

Iran would probably rely mostly on its two biggest buyers, China and India, to boost its production closer to this target, but it would also need the help of the European Union, which is also a big buyer of Iranian crude.

And despite those moves, Iran says Europe's support for the JCPOA is not enough.

The re-establishment of U.S. sanctions will force European companies to choose between investing in Iran or trading with the United States.

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".

"Pompeo has not outlined a strategy, but rather a grab bag of wishful thinking that can only be interpreted as a call for regime change in Iran", Suzanne Maloney of the Brookings' Center for Middle East Policy wrote on Twitter. The Iranians have at least a day to prepare for any inspection and inspectors are denied any access at all to particularly suspect military bases that Britain, France and Germany agree should be looked at. "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".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Pompeo on Monday said the old deal no longer applied.

The prospect of Iran acceding to all twelve demands, Sherman added, "is virtually zero". According to deal supporters, Iran has majestically lived up to every promise.

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".

And he also strongly hinted that the Iranian people ought to overthrow their leaders. It arrested USA citizens even as its diplomats were negotiating the nuclear deal. "That willingness has been accompanied by a painful pressure campaign that reflects our commitment to resolve this challenge forever".

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

Through this Iran speech, the Trump administration is again showing its lack of experience. "True the public is alienated from the regime but the USA visa policy also alienates them. Will we have such a coalition?"

Now the Europeans, Russians and Chinese are part of a much larger group America wants to press the Iranians to change their ways. But the challenges that the accord faces have grown since Trump withdrew the United States from it on May 8th.

Pompeo, while unveiling the Trump administration's new policy on Iran, said he will work with the Pentagon and allies in pressuring Iran to curb its nuclear and military ambitions. "Every country's going to have to understand that we can not continue to create wealth for [Quds Force Commander] Qasem Soleimani", Pompeo said. Pompeo on Monday took the first step in trying to restore them.