Pompeo's Iran Plan Is a Pipe Dream


"We believe that without this agreement, we would take the risk that Iran resumes its nuclear program", he said.

In a speech this morning at the Heritage Foundation, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued yet more demands for Tehran, including the complete cessation of its nuclear program, an end to its funding for armed groups across the Middle East, the withdrawal of Iranian forces from Syria, and a halt to its development of ballistic missiles.

Pompeo on Monday also took aim at one of the more insidious elements of Obama's diplomatic strategy, which was that the countries most effected by the change in US policy toward Iran - Israel and America's Arab allies - were not included in negotiations.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauded US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's speech on Monday outlining the 12 steps Iran must take for sanctions relief, saying this is "the right policy".

Mike Pompeo's speech follows the US decision to withdraw from the landmark 2015 global agreement for Iran to suspend its nuclear weapons program.

Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the 2015 nuclear accord struck between world powers and Tehran has rattled close USA allies in Europe who had been counseling the American president against taking such action.

Pompeo was aiming to answer the question of what happens next following Trump's announcement this month that he was pulling the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Pompeo said if Iran made major changes, the U.S. was prepared to ease sanctions, re-establish full diplomatic and commercial relations and support the country's re-integration into the global economic system.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said the world will "not accept" United States unilateralism just hours after Washington laid out a series of tough demands to be included in a potential new nuclear treaty with Iran. "The Iranian people will get to make a choice about their leadership".

"I'm afraid that Pompeo is substituting ultimatums for diplomacy", said Jamal Abdi of the National Iranian American Council.

But the Trump administration has held out hope that those same allies will put aside that frustration and work with the United States to ramp pressure back up on Iran through sanctions in a bid to bring Tehran back to the negotiating table for a stronger deal. Addressing the Iranian people, Pompeo said, "The West says, 'Boy, if only they could control Ayatollah Khamenei and Qasem Soleimani then things would be great.' Yet, Rouhani and Zarif are your elected leaders".

In a statement, she stressed "there is no alternative" to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is officially known.

"It is not necessarily effective because companies make their own decisions", explained a European diplomat.

The Iranians are unlikely to go along with any of Pompeo's demands, including a stop to uranium enrichment and ballistic missile tests, and allowing worldwide inspectors access to all sites. "No more cost-free expansions of Iranian power", Pompeo said.

Pompeo did offer Iran a series of dramatic potential US concessions if it agrees to make "major changes". The negotiators of the deal were the U.S., China, the European Union, Iran, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom.

Iran has been moving ahead to build nuclear weapons.

"If you try to pull all of those into a giant negotiation, a new jumbo Iran negotiation, a new treaty".

As for compliance with the deal, consider some 32 illicit efforts to get foreign technology that have nuclear weaponry implications, at least as reported by a German intelligence agency.

Last year, trade between the bloc and Iran totalled over 20bn euro ($23.5bn), with most exports being machinery and transport goods and the majority of imports being energy-related products.

The United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash responded to Pompeo's remarks by saying that the U.S. was taking the right approach towards Iran.