US talks tough, to impose 'strongest sanctions in history' on Iran
US talks tough, to impose 'strongest sanctions in history' on Iran
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo
22 May, 2018, 20:57
Mogherinicalled on the U.S.to keep its commitments as part of the agreement signed under Trump's predecessor Barack Obama. President Trump announced in early May the US would withdraw from the accord.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has in turn used stern language when commenting on Pompeo's speech. But European companies say they are anxious about getting caught up in the new US sanctions, given the extent of Washington's global reach, and some have already started pulling out.
At the same time, he noted he is "not totally pessimistic about the situation".
Germany's economy minister says the government will help firms maintain business with Iran where it can after the United States decision to reimpose sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Pompeo refused to commit to a timetable for the new American diplomacy, and British foreign secretary Boris Johnson suggested it wouldn't happen anytime soon.
Whether the Europeans will take heed, only time will tell.
In a statement, the Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said that the United States seeks to distract the global attention from its "illegal moves" concerning Iran's nuclear deal by threatening and insulting the Iranian nation. Europeans allies had pleaded with Trump not to scuttle that deal and are now scrambling to keep the deal alive even without the U.S.
The Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif said the USA was a prisoner of its "failed policies" and would suffer the consequences European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Pompeo had not demonstrated how abandoning the deal made the region safer from nuclear proliferation. He further said Tehran should stop threatening Israel, and release all US citizens in Iranian custody.
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.
Pompeo gave no indication that European companies will be given waivers. He said on Monday that economic pressure on Iran needs to impact a wide array of actors in order to be effective. "That is their decision to make", Pompeo said. "I'll concede there are American companies who would love to do business with the Islamic Republic of Iran". It's a big, vibrant, wonderful people.
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"Iran will be forced to make a choice: either fight to keep its economy off life support at home or keep squandering precious wealth on fights overseas".
From both inside Iran and outside, the lingering feeling was that Pompeo had spelled out a litany of demands so onerous that the only goal could be ousting the current regime, given that it was so unlikely to agree to any of those requirements.
The older American sanctions prohibited nearly 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. But acknowledge that they can not force big companies to change their own economic calculation.
Iranian President quickly dismissed the threats, saying the rest of the world no longer accepts Washington making decisions on their behalf.
Araqchi also questioned whether Europe can guarantee Iran's sale of crude oil, gas and petrochemical products now that the U.S. has withdrawn from the JCPOA and vowed to re-impose sanctions on the country. "Pompeo also threatened to "crush" Iran's terrorist proxies around the world".
European nations, as well as Russian Federation and China, are vowing to stand by the deal - formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - that Iran reached with six world powers and are trying to insulate their companies from the promised sanctions even though that's an uphill effort.
"There is no assurance on how this is going to be amazingly effective". "The Iranian regime should know this is just the beginning".
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