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Pompeo threatens `strongest sanctions in history' on Iran

21 Мая 2018

In the short run, we can expect the European Union to negotiate with Iran to increase investment and support in order to keep Iran in the deal.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative public policy think tank, in Washington, Monday, May 21, 2018.

German insurer Allianz and Danish oil product tanker operator Maersk Tankers have also said they could wind down their businesses in Iran, while Joe Kaeser, the CEO of Germany's Siemens told CNN his company would not be able to do any new business with Tehran.

He said Iran must "stop enrichment" of uranium and never pre-process plutonium.

Al Jazeera's Zein Basravi, reporting from Tehran, said that despite Pompeo's strong rhetoric, the Iranian leadership is "likely to feel like this is nothing they haven't heard from the United States before". “America did not create this need for changed behavior.

This is what happens when the United States makes foreign policy based on Trump's long-held instincts and biases and his obsessive urge to do the opposite of whatever the Obama administration did. It is unclear how much benefit such deals would provide if European companies refused to do business with the country. "It is not acceptable under any circumstance", Rouhani said to a group of university teachers in Tehran. "Who are you to decide for Iran and the world?"

The USA has set in motion a series of sanctions that will give Iran 2 choices, surrender or fight.

Prices had been steadily rising in the lead-up to Trump's May 8 announcement about the United States pulling out of the nuclear deal and the threat to levy new "powerful" sanctions on Iran.

Pompeo said Washington would be open to a new treaty and wanted the support of America's allies.

Among Iran's must-do's, Pompeo includes stopping missile launches and the development of nuclear-capable missiles, allowing the IAEA with "unqualified access" to missile sites throughout the country, releasing all USA citizens, ending support for terrorist groups like Lebanese Hezbollah and the youths militia and Taliban in Afghanistan and the IRGC Quds Force's, taking forces that they control out of Syria, and respecting the sovereignty of the Iraqi government.

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

"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 United States will also demand that Iran cease its support for Shi'ite Huthi rebels in Yemen, "withdraw all forces" from Syria, halt support for Hizballah in Lebanon, and stop "threatening" Israel.

Iran must also "release all USA citizens" missing in Iran or being held on "spurious charges", he said. That means that countries buying crude from Iran have some breathing room to begin cutting their purchases and finding alternative supplies and to begin negotiating with the Trump administration on potential waivers. He's laying out the Trump administration's strategy for ramping up pressure on Iran in hopes of securing a better deal.

"We will apply unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime". "If they make the decision quickly, that would be wonderful".

Tension between the two countries has grown notably since U.S. President Trump this month withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement aimed at preventing Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Europeans allies had pleaded with Trump not to scuttle that deal and are now scrambling to keep the deal alive even without the U.S.

He says if a deal was reached that satisfies the Trump administration, the US would be willing to lift all economic sanctions.

And when it comes to the idea that Europe could compensate any firms hit by U.S. sanctions - a notion floated by French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire on Sunday - Verheugen says that's just talk.

European companies doing business with Iran would have to decide whether they want to keep those accounts if it means alienating the USA and possibly facing sanctions.

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Pompeo threatens `strongest sanctions in history' on Iran