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Montevideo, November 16th 2018 - 16:07 UTC

Pompeo threatens Iran with “strongest sanctions in history”; Teheran says US was regressing to “old habits”

Tuesday, May 22nd 2018 - 06:51 UTC
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Mike Pompeo did not say what new measures the US was contemplating but he described sanctions imposed on head of Iran's central bank as “just the beginning”. Mike Pompeo did not say what new measures the US was contemplating but he described sanctions imposed on head of Iran's central bank as “just the beginning”.
The Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif said the US was a prisoner of its “failed policies” and would suffer the consequences The Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif said the US was a prisoner of its “failed policies” and would suffer the consequences
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Pompeo had not demonstrated how abandoning the deal made the region safer from nuclear proliferation. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Pompeo had not demonstrated how abandoning the deal made the region safer from nuclear proliferation.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the US is imposing the “strongest sanctions in history” on Iran. In a speech on Monday in Washington, America's top diplomat said Iran would be “battling to keep its economy alive” after the sanctions took effect.

 His Iranian counterpart said the US was a prisoner of its “failed policies” and would suffer the consequences.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump took the US out of the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Mr Pompeo had not demonstrated in his speech how abandoning the deal made the region safer from the threat of nuclear proliferation.

US 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”.

The older American sanctions prohibited almost all trade with Iran, making some exceptions only for activity “intended to benefit the Iranian people” such as the export of medical and agricultural equipment.

The secretary of state did not say what new measures Washington was contemplating but he described sanctions imposed last week on the head of Iran's central bank as “just the beginning”.

Some of Europe's biggest firms who rushed to do business with Iran after the nuclear deal now find themselves forced to choose between investing there or trading with the US.

Iran is one of the world's largest oil producers, and the export of oil and gas is worth billions of dollars each year. Both the country's oil output and its GDP fell noticeably under international sanctions.

The sanctions will not be re-imposed on Tehran immediately but are subject to three-month and six-month wind-down periods.

“Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East,” Mr Pompeo said.

Javad Zarif said America was “regressing to old habits”. Iran, he added, was working with the other partners of the nuclear deal to find a solution.

Mr Pompeo laid out 12 conditions for any “new deal” with Iran, including the withdrawal of its forces from Syria and an end to its support for rebels in Yemen.

Others include Tehran giving the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) a full account of its former nuclear military program, and giving up such work forever; ending its “threatening behavior” towards its neighbors, including “its threats to destroy Israel, and its firing of missiles into Saudi Arabia and the UAE”; releasing all US citizens, and those of US partners and allies, “detained on spurious charges or missing in Iran”

Iran has spread its influence across parts of the Middle East where there are large communities of fellow Shia Muslims, from Iraq to Lebanon. Its support for Lebanon's Hezbollah movement is particularly alarming for Israel while Saudi Arabia, another bitter enemy, accuses the Iranians of equipping rebels in Yemen.

In the Syrian civil war, it is one of President Bashar al-Assad's few outside allies, sending thousands of fighters and military advisers.

Mr Pompeo has made clear he expects the backing of his allies in Europe but also called for support from “Australia, Bahrain, Egypt, India, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea [and] the UAE”.

“We welcome any nation which is sick and tired of the nuclear threats, the terrorism, the missile proliferation and the brutality of a regime at peace with inflicting chaos on innocent people,” he said.

Top Comments

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  • The Voice

    Having seen Trumps list of demands its ridiculous to try to browbeat Iran into meeting all of them at a stroke. Better to carry on with what had already been started to bring Iran into line with the rest of the civilised nations step by step.
    Trumps aides say he is an inexperienced bull in a china shop with no diplomatic skills a status that will not resonate with his dumb supporters. Rednecks Revenge didnt work in Iraq and they had to leave Vietnam with their tails between their legs when will Rednecks learn?……

    May 22nd, 2018 - 02:53 pm 0
  • DemonTree

    Israel was strongly opposed to the deal and has some influential friends very close to Trump. Plus it plays well to the religious nutters in his base.

    China, meanwhile, was very much in favour. Trump's been antagonising them as well, but they seemed to think they can manage him, so we'll have to see what happens.

    I saw an interview with Trump from the 90s and it was amazing how much more lucid he sounded back then. Makes you wonder if he's faking the dumb to appeal to those who are resentful of anyone smarter than them (ie all normal politicians), or is no longer quite compos mentis.

    May 22nd, 2018 - 10:56 pm 0
  • The Voice

    I agree that the US's destiny is in the hands of China because nowadays practically everything in America is made by the Chinese.

    May 23rd, 2018 - 01:23 pm 0
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