US Threatens Iran With the 'Strongest Sanctions in History'
23 May, 2018, 00:39 | Author: Pamela Mathis
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's promise to slap the "strongest sanctions in history" on Tehran after Washington's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal has prompted an outcry from European officials.
"That's nonsense, nothing can be agreed on this basis", he said from Vienna in a video conference.
Mike Pompeo did not say what new measures the USA was contemplating but he described sanctions imposed on head of Iran's central bank as "just the beginning".
He said Iran was continuing negotiations with the European Union on issues related to the nuclear agreement, implicitly denying that the three countries discussed with Iran its regional threats and the development of ballistic missiles.
The Trump administration, two weeks after it withdrew from an worldwide arms control deal that curbed Iran's nuclear ambitions, called Monday for a new global coalition to force the Islamic Republic to capitulate to a long list of political and military demands.
In his first major speech since becoming secretary of state, Pompeo said: "The sting of sanctions will only grow more painful if the regime does not change course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen for itself and the people of Iran".
The remarks by Pompeo came almost two weeks after his boss Donald Trump withdrew the USA from the 2015 global nuclear deal.
In exchange, the USA would be willing to lift all sanctions and normalise diplomatic and commercial relations.
For the time being, many European diplomats hope they can find loopholes for certain companies to continue doing business with Iran, by using small German banks for transactions, for instance. The world today does not accept America to decide for the world, as countries are independent ... that era is over ...
"The Iranian regime should know that this is just the beginning", Pompeo warned. "Iran will be forced to make a choice: either fight to keep its economy off life support at home or keep squandering precious wealth on fights overseas". Europe sees the pact, limiting Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for the relaxation of economic sanctions, as vital for worldwide security.
"I believe we should not give up, we should try until the end, to show, with our heads held high, that we are right and Mr. Trump is wrong", he added.
The sweeping list would sharply curtail Iran's ballistic missile program and wider behavior in the region, and require a radical change in policy - if not leadership - in Tehran. "It probably will take a significant amount of time to get a genuine fix for the other Iranian problems", he said.
"Secretary Pompeo's speech has not demonstrated how walking away from the JCPOA (nuclear deal) 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 said. Pompeo said that the long list of demands was Iran's fault, and that crippling sanctions would bring them back to the negotiating table.
"This will only lead to one thing: confrontation", he said.
"It must cease its threatening behaviour against its neighbours", Pompeo said.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is interviewed by The Associated Press in New York, April 24, 2018. Are these two not responsible for wasting Iranian lives through the Middle East?
Whatever Trump may eventually decide to do, he should not claim to do it in the name of "the long-suffering people of Iran".
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