Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr Creative Commons https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech at Heritage Foundation this morning that caused a loosening of sphincters in certain parts of Tehran. The speech was titled, “After the Deal: A New Iran Strategy.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday threatened to impose “the strongest sanctions in history” on Iran if it doesn’t change course, while also outlining a list of demands the Islamic republic is almost certain to chafe at.
Pompeo stopped just short of issuing a military threat against Iran and denounced the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as a bad bet that the agreement would prompt the Iranian government into better behavior on the regional and world stage.
“The sting of sanctions will be painful if the regime does not change its course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen to one that rejoins the league of nations. These will indeed end up being the strongest sanctions in history when we are complete,” Pompeo said in remarks at the Heritage Foundation. “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 abroad. It will not have the resources to do both.”
Sec. of State Pompeo vows to hit Iran with “strongest sanctions in history” if its government does not change course. pic.twitter.com/y2k4q1BH7c
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 21, 2018
"Strategically, the Obama Administration made a bet that the Iran deal would spur Iran to stop its rogue state actions and conform to international norms. That bet was a loser with massive repercussions for all the people living in the Middle East." -Secretary Pompeo pic.twitter.com/Csjs76plgU
— Security Studies Group (@SecStudiesGrp) May 21, 2018
"Iran continues to be, during the JCPOA, the world's largest sponsor of terror. It continues to serve as sanctuary for Al Qaeda as it has done since 9/11 and remains unwilling to bring to justice senior Al Qaeda members residing in Tehran." -Sec. of State Pompeo #Iran pic.twitter.com/zvSub1LIde
— Nick Short (@PoliticalShort) May 21, 2018
In order to reestablish economic ties with the US and get out from under US sanctions, Pompeo laid out a list of things that must happen:
And Iran responded:
Will Iran do any of the things on the list? No, of course not. The real question is does the administration want them to? Iran has blown through most, if not all, of the windfall it received from the JCPOA in supporting the IRGC, various militias, and in propping up Lebanese Hezbollah. No matter how much the Europeans whimper, companies doing business in Iran are ultimately going to have to decide to forego doing business with the US and their bankers will have to withdraw from the international banking system. All of this says that if the administration focuses on putting the screws to Iran there is a lot of opportunity to do that. And if Iran retrenches it looks like it is complying with US demands. I think the real target in Iran is regime change and we are going to make them spend their way into a coup.
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