US will 'crush' Iran allies, says US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

May 22, 2018, 22:19
US will 'crush' Iran allies, says US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

"The people of Iran should stand united in the face of this, and they will deliver a strong punch to the mouth of the American secretary of state and anyone who backs them", Ismail Kowsari, the deputy commander of the Sarollah Revolutionary Guards base in Tehran, said, according to the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA).

His statement was echoed by Luxembourg's foreign minister Jean Asselborn who said there were limits to the European Union's powers to persuade its larger firms to stay in Iran in the face of threatened US sanctions.

"Our demands on Iran are not unreasonable: give up your program", Pompeo said, "Should they choose to go back, should they begin to enrich, we are fully prepared to respond to that as well", he said, declining to elaborate. "The leaders in Tehran will have no doubt about our seriousness", Pompeo said in a speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank. The world today does not accept that the United States decides for the world.

With regard to relations with neighboring Arab countries, the Iranian official said that Arab sattes in the region should reassess their approach towards Iran, and called for their help to stabilize the already volatile region.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump took the USA out of the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Netanyahu called for other countries to follow America's lead.

After Trump pulled out, the other signatories said they would try to salvage the deal and keep Iran's oil trade and investment flowing.

In his fundamental speech concerning United States policies towards Tehran he put forward twelve conditions for concluding a new deal on the Iranian nuclear program. But European companies say they are anxious about getting caught up in the new USA sanctions, given the extent of Washington's global reach, and some have already started pulling out.

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"Iran must end its threatening behavior against its neighbors, many of whom are USA allies".

Rouhani compared the comments as akin to those made by the administration of George W. Bush ahead of the 2003 Iraq invasion. He said Iran must end support for Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen, "withdraw all forces" from Syria, halt support for its ally Hezbollah and stop threatening Israel.

But then the Trump administration has repeatedly shown it will hurt both friend and foe, and ignore the larger geopolitical picture, in pursuit of disruptive policies. "It aspires to achieve nuclear weapons by various means", Netanyahu said.

Declaring the era of USA domination "over", he added, "we will continue our path with the support of our nation".

Iran quickly denounced Pompeo's remarks as a call for "regime change", and some US experts questioned how realistic it was to make strident demands divorced from a broader diplomatic strategy.

"We want to hear their concerns".

The 2015 nuclear agreement, worked out by the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia, China and Iran, lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran limiting its atomic programme.

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In reality, there is no choice - European companies can not afford to forsake the USA market.

The 2015 nuclear agreement was underwritten by the assumption that the world would have no choice but to deal with the clerical regime for years or perhaps even decades to come.

Speaking to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Chief of the Iranian Judiciary's Human Rights Council Mohammad Javad Larijani criticized President Hassan Rouhani's remarks about the continuation of the JCPOA after Washington's move to leave the agreement.

Pompeo echoed Trump's complaints about the Obama-era nuclear deal, saying it had "fatal flaws" because some elements had time limits and it focused only on Iran's nuclear program, not its other problematic behavior.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday he will travel to Washington to meet with Pompeo to discuss Washington's stance on the worldwide nuclear deal with Iran.

Critics rounded on Pompeo's speech, saying his demands could have been made without pulling America from the nuclear deal.

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