Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that Washington would impose the “strongest sanctions in history” on Iran if the regime does not comply with a list of U.S. demands intended to bolster nuclear non-proliferation verification measures and reign in the rogue state’s support for terror groups and involvement in foreign proxy wars.
Pompeo, speaking at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, laid out a “diplomatic road map” for future relations with Iran that includes the reimplementation of the sanctions lifted under the 2015 agreement, which the U.S. withdrew from earlier this month, as well as the imposition of additional sanctions intended to bring the regime back to the negotiating table.
The former CIA director laid out a comprehensive list of requirements that Iran must comply with to avoid the painful sanctions, including the declaration of all nuclear material to the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), the allowance of unqualified IAEA access to all nuclear sites, the conclusion of missile development, and the release of all American hostages. He suggested that the Trump administration was prepared to lift the sanctions, reestablish a commercial relationship and allow Iran access to advanced technology in exchange for good behavior.
Trump withdrew from the Iran deal earlier this month, citing the lack of adequate compliance verification, as well as Iran’s increasingly aggressive regional influence campaign, as evidence of the Obama administration’s failure to secure a favorable deal.
“Strategically, the Obama administration made a bet that the deal would spur Iran to stop its rogue-state actions and conform to international norms,” Pompeo said during the speech. “That bet was a loser with massive repercussions for all people living in the Middle East.”
“We will continue to work with our allies to counter the regime’s destabilizing activities in the region, block their financing of terror, and address Iran’s proliferation of missiles and other advanced weapons that threaten peace and stability,” he added. “We will also ensure Iran has no possible path to a nuclear weapon — ever.”
Pompeo addressed Iran’s increased involvement in regional conflict during the address, reiterating the administration’s demand that the regime end its support for Hezbollah and Hamas and withdraw forces from Syria. He also stipulated that Iran must stop funding the Houthi rebels battling pro-government forces in Yemen.
The increased sanctions — levied on top of existing restrictions revived after the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear agreement — will have a detrimental effect on the economies of European allies. Pompeo acknowledged the expected to harm to allies and vowed to send diplomatic teams to those countries to explain the U.S. policy and work to defray the potential damages.