Iran responded to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech which set conditions for the Muslim country that, if not met, would subject Iran to harsh sanctions.
“The conditions of the United States are meaningless. Iran has no need for anyone’s permission to act in the Middle East. Our missile programs will be determined according to Iranian needs,” said a senior official in the Tehran regime.
In his speech Pompeo addressed the Middle East and the debate over the nuclear agreement.
“We hoped that Iran would use the money from the nuclear agreement for the benefit of the citizens of Iran, but it has instead armed terror organizations. Since the agreement was signed, Hezbollah has been armed by Iran, with Israel as the target,” said the Secretary of State.
Pompeo warned that the new sanctions on Iran will be the “strongest sanctions in history.”
“We will apply unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime. The leaders in Tehran will have no doubt about our seriousness. Thanks to our colleagues at the Department of Treasury, sanctions are going back into effect and new ones are coming,” he said.
Pompeo called the Iran Nuclear Deal, which US President Donald Trump withdrew from two weeks ago, “bad for the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and indeed for the entire world.”
“Iran continues to be – during the JCPOA – the world’s largest sponsor of terror. It continues to be a sanctuary for Al Qaeda, as it has done since 9/11,” he said.
“Iran will be forced to make a choice: either fight to keep its economy off life support at home or keep squandering precious wealth in fights abroad. It will not have the resources to do both.
“I will work closely with the Department of Defense and our regional allies to deter Iranian aggression. We will ensure freedom of navigation on the waters of the region. We will work to counter any Iranian malign activity. We will track down Iranian operatives and the Hezbollah proxies operating around the world, and we will crush them. Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East.
“Iran will be forced to make a choice: either fight to keep its economy off life support at home, or keep squandering precious wealth in fights abroad. It will not have the resources to do both.
Pompeo listed the United States’ demands of Iran: “First, Iran must declare to the IAEA the full account of the prior military dimensions of its nuclear program, and permanently and verifiably abandon such work for perpetuity.”
“Second, Iran must stop enrichment and never pursue plutonium enrichment. This includes closing its heavy water reactor.
“Third, Iran must also provide the IAEA with unqualified access to all sites throughout the entire country,
“Iran must end its proliferation of ballistic missiles and halt the further launching and development of nuclear capable missile systems.
“Iran must release all US citizens, as well as the citizens of our partners and allies, each of them detained on spurious charges.
“Iran must end support for Middle East terrorist groups, including Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
“Iran must respect the sovereignty of the Iraqi government and permit the disarming, demobilization, and reintegration of Shia militias.
“Iran must also end its support for the Houthi militia and work towards a peaceful settlement in Yemen.
“Iran must withdraw all forces under Iranian command throughout the entirety of Syria.
“Iran must end support for the Taliban and other terrorists in Afghanistan and the region and cease harboring senior Al Qaeda leaders.
“Iran must end the IRG Quds forces’ support for terrorists around the world.
“Iran must end its threatening behavior against its neighbors, many of whom are US allies. This certainly includes its threats to destroy Israel and its firing of missiles into Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It also includes threats to international shipping and destructive cyber-attacks.”
Following the speech, Minister Naftali Bennett said, “The bottom line of Pompeo’s speech and the new policy toward Iran is that it can either invest in improving the lives of Iranians or invest in taking the lives of other people. It cannot do both,” Bennett said. (A7)