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US issues list of demands for new Iran nuclear deal, with threats of punitive sanctions

22nd May 2018
US issues list of demands for new Iran nuclear deal, with threats of punitive sanctions

By Michael Hernandez

 

WASHINGTON (AA): U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued Monday a lengthy list of demands the U.S. is seeking to include in a new nuclear deal with Iran after President Donald Trump exited Washington from the landmark accord brokered by his predecessor and world powers.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani retorted to the demands and threats by the US: “Who are you to decide for Iran and the world and tell Iran what to do or what not to do in nuclear technology?”

Foreign Minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, wrote in a tweet: “US diplomacy Sham is merely a regression to old habits: imprisoned by delusions and failed policies-dictated by corrupt Special Interest- it repeats the same wrong choices and will thus reap the same ill reward. Iran, meanwhile, is working with partners for post-US JCPOA solution.”

“Secretary Pompeo’s speech has not demonstrated how walking away from the JCPOA has made or will make the region safer from the threat of nuclear proliferation or how it puts us in a better position to influence Iran’s conduct in areas outside the scope of JCPOA,” Federica Mogherini, EU Foreign Minister said in response to Pompeo’s demands.

During his first public address as America’s top diplomat, Pompeo threatened Iran with the “strongest sanctions in history” if it does not change its regional policies while vowing the Trump administration will ensure “Iran has no possible path to a nuclear weapon, ever”.

Pompeo called on Iran to halt a host of its activities in the Middle East that Washington has taken umbrage with, including its military support for the Syrian regime, Lebanese Hezbollah, and Yemen’s Houthi rebels. He further said Tehran should stop threatening Israel, and release all U.S. citizens in Iranian custody.

In addition, Iran must “stop enrichment” of uranium, which was allowed with limits under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, allow access to all sites in Iran, Pompeo said, referring to military sites that require special authorizations under the accord, and declare all alleged past efforts to build a nuclear weapon. Pompeo further called on Iran to halt its ballistic missile program.

He promised the “sting of sanctions will be painful” should Tehran not change course “from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen to one that rejoins the league of nations”.

“The regime has been fighting all over the Middle East for years. After our sanctions come into force it will be battling to keep its economy alive,” Pompeo told the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank. “Iran will be forced to make a choice: either fight to keep its economy off life support at home, or keep squandering precious wealth abroad. It will not have the resources to do both.”

Should Iran choose to change its behavior, Pompeo said the U.S. would be willing to restore full commercial and diplomatic ties, and allow it access to advanced technology.

Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear accord struck between world powers and Tehran has rattled close U.S. allies in Europe who had been counseling the American president against taking such action.

The U.S.’s European allies are now seeking to keep the deal alive without the U.S.’s participation, but Pompeo warned against doing so as the U.S. prepares to re-impose its former nuclear-related sanctions and apply new ones.

“We understand our re-imposition of sanctions and the coming pressure campaign on the Iranian regime will pose financial and economic difficulties for a number of our friends,” Pompeo said. “But you should know that we will hold those doing prohibited business in Iran to account.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Photo:  U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo makes demands and threats against Iran during his speech at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, USA on May 21, 2018. Photographer: Yasin Öztürk/AA]

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