United States moves forward at full speed to ramp up pressure on Iran

22 May, 2018, 22:17 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • Britain's foreign secretary Boris Johnson German foreign minister Heiko Maas and French foreign minister Jean Yves Le Drian take part in meeting with Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Brussels Belgium

In a speech at the right-wing Heritage Foundation on Monday that critics said should put to rest all lingering illusions that the Trump White House wants anything other than regime change in Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlined a "wildly unrealistic" list of demands that Iran must meet if it wants nuclear talks with America and warned that the US will "crush" Tehran with sanctions if it doesn't comply.

A senior Iranian official said Pompeo's remarks showed that the United States was pushing for "regime change", a charged phrase often associated with the USA invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein.

"Our demands on Iran are not unreasonable: Give up your program", Pompeo said, "Should they choose to go back, should they begin to enrich, we are fully prepared to respond to that as well", he said, declining to elaborate.

He warned that any entity conducting business with Tehran would be "held to account" by the United States, voicing hope that the new anti-Iranian sanctions will be met with support from U.S. allies beyond Europe.

Asked how the US will work with European nations to ease the impact of sanctions on their companies, Pompeo gave no ground.

"We will hold those doing prohibited business in Iran to account", he said.

"Who are you to decide for Iran and the world?" the Iranian president was quoted as saying.

Pompeo's list came just two weeks after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and promised to impose new tougher sanctions on Tehran.

United States sanctions lifted after the 2015 deal will be re-imposed, Mr Pompeo said, and those and new measures will together constitute "unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime". President Trump announced in early May the US would withdraw from the accord. Other nations have agreed that Iran has the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. "The Iranian wave of destruction in the region in just the last few years is proof that Iran's nuclear aspirations can not be separated from the overall security picture", he added.

As he called for a better agreement to constrain Iran's activities, he said the USA would "apply unprecedented financial pressure" to bring Tehran back to the table.

TI's lawyer says rapper was wrongfully arrested outside his gated community
The statement continued, "Tip was in contact with "Tiny" by phone and "Tiny" confirmed that Tip should be let in immediately. The friend, who had a warrant out for his arrest from Clayton County, was arrested on that warrant.

Trump administration hits Iran's central bank with terror sanctions
The European members of the deal - France, the United Kingdom and Germany - are trying to keep it alive without the U.S.

Zarif embarks on journey to save nuclear deal by first visiting China
FM says Tehran is "ready for all options" as he embarks on tour with pact's other signatories in wake of U.S. withdrawal. Earlier in the week, France, Germany and the United Kingdom expressed "regret and concern" over the US' withdrawal.

Pompeo vowed that Trump's approach would ensure "Iran has no possible path to a nuclear weapon, ever".

It was no accident that Pompeo, who served in the House of Representatives before Trump named him to head the Central Intelligence Agency a year ago, chose the fraught topic of Iran for his first policy speech.

German insurer Allianz and engineering conglomerate Siemens were among the first European entities which announced their intention to scale back business in Iran.

"When tariffs are increased, it's the citizens who foot the bill and, if goods become more expensive, jobs are jeopardised".

The speech was a fresh example of the Trump administration's maximalist with-us-or-against-us strategy that's also playing out over North Korea's nuclear program. He says the Trump administration prefers for it to be a treaty that is ratified by Congress.

"There is only one way to read it", said the former adviser to the State Department on Iran, "and that is that Trump administration has wedded itself to a regime-change strategy to Iran, one that is likely to alienate our allies".

As for the consequences, Pompeo was vague, saying only that Iran would be met with "steely resolve" if it continues on its current course.

And he also strongly hinted that the Iranian people ought to overthrow their leaders. Last week, the French energy company Total said it would be forced to end a multi-billion dollar project in Iran unless it receives a sanctions waiver by November.

The following week, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei broke with the regime's longstanding policy of denying the strength of the opposition and promoting an image of the Islamic Republic as a stable regime with an inevitable future, when he delivered a speech in which he credited the MEK with planning the protests for months.

Recommended:



Popular

FDA approves first non-opioid to treat withdrawal symptoms
The guidelines were not well received by patients, who said the guidelines led to less doctors prescribing opioids for their pain. Results showed that SOWS-Gossop scores were lower in patients who are treated with Lucemyra compared to placebo.

Audio clip spurs social media debate over Yanny or Laurel
A poll of RNZ's Wellington newsroom had a combined "yanny/yammy" count of 11, with Laurel-ers racking up eight votes. Ellen DeGeneres tweeted everything at her show stopped to see what people heard.

Palestinian Envoy Recalled From Washington DC Over US Embassy Move to Jerusalem
Palestinians carry away an injured protester who was shot in his leg during clashes with Israeli forces east of Gaza City. Groups of young activists repeatedly approached the fence, but were quickly scattered by gunfire and tear gas.

Iran Calls for Clarity Over Nuclear Deal After Talks With China
European governments are scrambling to save billions of dollars in trade with Iran that resumed thanks to the 2015 accord. Tehran has repeatedly said that it would never accept re-negotiating the nuclear deal.

North Korea invites the world to watch its destruction of nuclear site
Kim revealed plans to shut down the nuclear test site during his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month. Thank you, a very smart and gracious gesture!", Trump wrote on Twitter. "I really think a lot of progress has been made".

Food drive aims to stamp out hunger
Last year, postal carriers collected 75.3 million pounds of food, assisting an estimated 30 million families. Residents were encouraged to leave non-perishable, non-breakable and non-expired food at their mailboxes.

Google will require that phone makers roll out monthly security updates
For users who are craving out to run this latest version of Android on their devices, there's some good news for some of you. With Google Assistant integration, you can quickly get your transit updates and traffic details using your voice commands.

We've lost a capable officer: Fadnavis on Himanshu Roy's demise
A former chief of the Anti-Terror Squad of Maharashtra, Himanshu Roy was an Additional Director General of Police. Actor Neel Nitin Mukesh, who was a family friend of Roy offered his condolence to the deceased IPS officer.

SpaceX's Upgraded Falcon 9 Rocket Finally Soars To The Skies
Though this was the first landing for a Block 5 first stage, it was the 25th overall for a Falcon 9 during an orbital launch . But in the eight-year history of flying Falcon 9 rockets, SpaceX has only ever sent the same rocket to space twice.

Carlos Carvalhal to leave Swansea City
Huddersfield sealed a huge point against Manchester City at the weekend and you'd expect that to be just about enough for them. Yet that season was over 42 games not 38 so, by any yardstick, City have been truly exceptional.