Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will immediately put pressure on U.S. allies to follow the U.S.’s lead in cracking down on Iran.
The U.S. pulled out of the 2015 Iran deal on Tuesday, reinstating crippling sanctions on Iran’s oil-led economy, which were lifted by the Obama-era deal in exchange for the country’s promise to back off its nuclear program.
Pompeo, who returned from North Korea on Thursday, will urge Europe, the Middle East and Asia to require Iran to shut down its nuclear and missile programs permanently, Reuters reported.
The U.S. hopes the sanctions pressure, which also penalizes European companies doing business with Iran, will bring Iran to the table to renegotiate the deal on America’s terms.
U.S. diplomats have begun talks with Germany, France and the U.K., all of whom lobbied Trump to stay in the deal. Officials have also spoken to representatives from Israel, Japan and Iraq. European countries see the deal as the only way to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and hope to save the agreement despite the White House’s withdrawal.
“Europe has a very limited opportunity to preserve the nuclear deal,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reportedly informed French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday.
President Trump has long excoriated the deal, calling it “terrible” and saying it fails to put enough pressure on Iran’s missile program in addition to its nuclear program and does not give U.S. inspectors enough access.
“The goal is ultimately to reach a point where we sit down with the Iranians and negotiate a new deal, but I don’t think we’re at that point today, or will be tomorrow,” a senior State Department official said.
However, regime change in the country, a state terror sponsor, is not what the U.S. has in mind, officials say.
“The goal is to prevent Iran from ever developing or acquiring a nuclear weapon and the detail beyond that is something we are going to have to flesh out,” said William Peek, the State Department’s deputy U.S. assistant secretary for the bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.