Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday delivered a speech outlining the Trump Administration's new policy on Iran. The speech comes two weeks after President Trump pulled the United States out of the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran, or "JCPOA."
The Trump Administration's strategy will ensure “Iran has no possible path to nuclear weapons - ever,” said Pompeo, and may include “the strongest sanctions in history."
The US is prepared to impose “unprecedented” financial pressure that will force Iran to make a choice: “either fight to keep its economy off life support at home, or keep squandering precious wealth on fights abroad," said Pompeo. “We will ensure freedom of navigation on the waters in the region. We will work to prevent and counteract any Iranian malign cyber activity. We will track down Iranian operatives and their Hezbollah proxies operating around the world and crush them…Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East."
Iran can evade US sanctions if it agrees to:
- End uranium enrichment and missile programs
- Allow access to all nuclear and military sites for inspection
- Come clean on all past efforts to build a nuclear weapon
- Release any US citizens being held in Iran
- End support for groups like Hamas and Hezbollah
- Pull all forces from Syria
- Stop threatening Israel
In exchange for all of this, Iran would enjoy zero sanctions, full diplomatic and commercial ties with the United States, and access to technology that would help modernize its economy.
“It is America’s hope that our labors toward peace and security will bear fruit for the long-suffering people of Iran,” said Pompeo, adding that EU nations would be punished for violating reimposed sanctions on Iran.
“We understand our re-imposition of sanctions and the comping pressure campaign on the Iranian regime will pose financial and economic difficulties for a number of our friends, but you should know that we will hold those doing prohibited business in Iran to account," said Pompeo.
State Department officials later this week will speak with JCPOA signatories France, Germany, and the UK about the new policy. “I know our allies in Europe may try to keep the old nuclear deal going with Tehran. That is their decision to make,” said Pompeo. “They know where we stand.”
Author's Note: Pompeo is starting from an extreme position which could lead to a better deal with Iran, but it all depends on the response from European allies who fiercely opposed Trump’s decision to leave the JCPOA. If our allies are not willing to put aside their frustrations over the JCPOA, it is unlikely we will see Tehran at the negotiating table any time soon.