European allies alarmed by Pompeo speech laying out U.S. demands on Iran

Iranians should deliver 'strong punch to mouth' of Pompeo – IRGC commander

In early May President Donald Trump announced the USA withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, in a move that sparked a cold snap in Washington's ties with its European allies and co-signatories to the deal, including the European Union, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Iran, Russia, and China.

Top Photo | Journalists attend a press conference of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, and Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, at the Royal Terminal of King Khaled airport, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 29, 2018. Iran would also have to walk away from core pillars of its foreign policy, including its involvement in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Afghanistan, he said.

Despite the United States, Iran has been bound to its global obligations, the statement said. Iran is spreading aggressively throughout the Middle East.

As he called for a better agreement to constrain Iran's activities, he said the US would "apply unprecedented financial pressure" to bring Tehran back to the table.

In his speech at the Heritage Foundation, Pompeo also said Washington would impose unprecedented sanctions against Tehran. John Bolton, the USA national security adviser, has expressed support for the organization, which the Iranian government sees as a terrorist group.

President Donald Trump withdrew the USA from the Iran nuclear deal earlier this month, but he left the door open to reach a new agreement. After all, Kuwait and Oman are long-standing USA allies that are actively involved in mediating regional crises, both countries will be confident in their ability to avoid being punished for trading with Iran and to resist Saudi pressure.

"This will only lead to one thing: confrontation", he said.

The conundrum for Trump and Pompeo: After fracturing alliances and disregarding diplomacy in favor of quick action, the White House won't be able to put that sanctions regime fully in place, or curtail Iran's regional role, without participation of the five other nations that forged the deal with Iran.

"We know there are hardly any larger companies in Europe that do not also trade with the United States".

Following the controversial decision, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran weighs plans to remain in the agreement with the other five parties, provided that they ensure full benefits for Iran.

"Iran must release all USA citizens, as well as the citizens of our partners and allies, each of them detained on spurious charges".

"President Trump has taken a firm position, which we welcome, against Iran".

"He will not live forever, nor will the Iranian people abide the rigid rule of tyrants forever", Pompeo said. He's laying out the Trump administration's strategy for ramping up pressure on Iran in hopes of securing a better deal. "At the end of the day, the Iranian people will get to make a choice about their leadership".

"It's hard to imagine that Pompeo or anyone else thinks this is actually going to happen", said Benjamin Friedman, a fellow at the conservative Defense Priorities think tank in Washington. Former President Barack Obama did not seek a Senate-ratified treaty with Iran because of the dim prospects for getting approval from a Republican-run Congress.

"If you try now to fold all those issues - the ballistic missiles, Iran's misbehavior, Iran's disruptive activity in the region and the nuclear question - if you try to fold all those into a giant negotiation, I don't see that being very easy to achieve, in anything like a reasonable timetable", Johnson said. 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.

Pompeo said that that if Iran meets the Trump administration's demands the USA would end the sanctions, give Iran access to advanced technology and re-establish diplomatic and commercial relations.

Pompeo said he understood that Trump's decision "will pose financial and economic difficulties for a number of our friends". Now Washington's European allies want to stick with the existing deal.

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