Sunday 21 October 2018

Pompeo declares US will 'crush' Iran allies

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Nick Allen in Washington

The United States has warned its European allies they will have to take part in the "strongest sanctions in history" against Iran or face the consequences, as it took a tough line on the regime.

Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, gave a sweeping list of 12 demands that Iran would have to accept as the basis for any new accord after Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal earlier this month.

Mr Pompeo, in his first major foreign policy address since becoming the top US diplomat, vowed to "crush" Iran's proxies and operatives around the world. The new deal he proposed included demands to curb Tehran's ballistic missile programme and its expansionist moves in the Middle East.

Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, immediately rejected it, saying: "The world today does not accept America to decide for the world."

Mr Pompeo's plan would start with "unprecedented financial pressure" aimed at getting Iran back to the negotiating table, and Mr Pompeo said specialists would be sent to allied countries to explain the US approach.

Companies in the European Union have taken much more advantage of the 2015 waiving of sanctions on Iran than those in the United States.

In response to the US withdrawal from the deal, the EU has moved to impose a "blocking statute" that would protect European businesses.

Mr Pompeo called the 2015 deal a "loser" and a "bad bet for the US, Europe and the world," saying it had allowed Iran to increase its malign influence across the Middle East on the back of funding from renewed trade with the West.

Irish Independent

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