U.S. vows 'strongest sanctions in history' on Iran - BBC News

ImageSecretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Heritage Foundation

Mr Pompeo said that if Iran were to abide by the stricter terms, including ending its ballistic missile programme and its interventions in regional conflicts from Yemen to Syria, the USA would lift its sanctions. "If they choose not to do so, we will stay hard at this until we achieve the outcomes that I set forward today". They're also engaging with the agreement's remaining participants - Russia, China, Iran and the European Union - to salvage the deal without the U.S. It said Iran could still shoot off those ballistic missiles, obviously meant to transport nukes someday. The length of the list is simply a scope of the malign behaviour of Iran.

The US demand that Tehran stop uranium enrichment goes further than the Iran nuclear deal. As the Associated Press reported, "Taken together, the demands would constitute a wholesale transformation by Iran's government, and they hardened the perception that what Trump's administration really seeks is a change in the Iranian regime". 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.

Pompeo on Monday said the old deal no longer applied. He didn't specify how he would convince the European allies to go along with the US plan.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) saw Iran agree to limit the size of its stockpile of enriched uranium - which is used to make reactor fuel but also nuclear weapons - for 15 years and the number of centrifuges installed to enrich uranium for 10 years. "At this milestone, we have to ask: What has the Iranian revolution given the Iranian people?"

Media captionWhat is the Iran nuclear deal?

Earlier this month, Israel accused Iran of firing missiles into the Golan Heights and bombed what it said were Iranian military facilities in Syria.

Others called the new strategy an imaginative blend of maximum pressure and maximum diplomacy.

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In a question and answer session after the speech, Pompeo said in his first days as secretary of state, he spent time "Trying to see if there was a way to fix the deal". 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. Noting the protests over the economic crisis and women's rights since December, Pompeo made it clear the Administration sides with Iran's "struggling people".

Maloney said she supports regime change in Iran.

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".

According to Pompeo, President Trump is willing to negotiate a new deal, but that is not the primary objective. We've gone from a unified front against Iran to a unified front against President Trump's harebrained scheme.One wonders how a future president is going to fix the wreckage of American foreign policy this president will leave behind. In a statement at the White House on May 8, 2018, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would be withdrawing from the deal.

Pompeo also cautioned European firms against continuing to do business in Tehran, toughening up the USA policy line after its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear pact this month despite intense diplomatic efforts by Washington's European allies.

"Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East", he said in outlining the new United States strategy on handling the Islamic regime, including 12 tough conditions from Washington for any "new deal" with Teheran. 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".