Mike Pompeo says US will impose ‘strongest sanctions in history’ on Iran
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday delivered remarks on the United States’ new Iran strategy following Washington’s withdrawal earlier this month from a nuclear deal signed with Tehran and world powers.
Pompeo made the remarks at the Heritage Foundation, a research and educational institution based in Washington, DC.
In his speech, the Secretary of State called for a new agreement with Iran, noting that the Trump administration prefers a treaty “that is ratified by Congress.”
President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that the US would pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an agreement signed in 2015 under the Obama administration meant to curb Iran’s nuclear program.
Pompeo said Iran “has lied for years” about not having a nuclear weapons program as was revealed by Israeli intelligence forces in April.
“The JCPOA had shortcomings, especially the mechanisms to address Iran’s ballistic missiles which could deliver nuclear warheads,” he stated, adding Iran had advanced “its march in the Middle East” through its terror proxies all during the agreement.
“In Iraq, Iran sponsors Shia militia groups [the Hashd al-Shaabi] that jeopardize Iraq’s sovereignty all during the JCPOA,” he continued.
He also said Iran continues to be, during the nuclear pact, the largest state-sponsor of terror, including a co-conspirator for al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Taliban.
“It is clear that the JCPOA has not ended Iran’s nuclear aspirations, but the deal was a starting run for Tehran’s march across the Middle East,” Pompeo affirmed, noting America will continue to work with allies to address Iran’s proliferation of advanced nuclear weapons.
The US will impose “the strongest sanctions in history” on Iran if it does not comply with demands to end its nuclear program and deter its aggression across the Middle East which has an impact around the world, he stated.
The Secretary of State explained that any new agreement would ensure Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon and guarantee it permanently abandons enrichment of uranium and end its proliferation of ballistic missiles.
He also said the US welcomes any nation which is “sick and tired” of the brutality of the Iranian regime to join Washington in cracking down on Iran’s malign activities.
As I said at @Heritage: #Iran must be denied a nuclear weapon & ballistic missiles. Its aggression must be stopped. #IRGC's access to resources must be disrupted. U.S. will work with our allies to find a lasting solution to Iran's malign activities.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 21, 2018
Despite European opposition to the US decision, Washington has given commercial companies until Nov. 4 to end their activities in Iran, after which they will be liable to US sanctions.
Iran, meanwhile, has hinted it could remain in the JCPOA if the five remaining countries (the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, and France) abide by the agreement.