Mike Pompeo

Xinhua/Sipa USA

Pompeo Outlines New Demands, Threatens Crushing Sanctions Against Iran

May 21, 2018 - 5:00 pm

WASHINGTON (WCBS 880/CBS News) -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is threatening to crush Iran with sanctions and military pressure.

“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,” Pompeo said.

In remarks to the Heritage Foundation on Monday, Pompeo unveiled a laundry list of what Iran must do to enter into a new deal after the U.S. formally announced its intentions to withdraw from the internationally-accepted Iran nuclear deal earlier this month.

"President Trump withdrew from the deal for a simple reason: it failed to guarantee the safety of the American people from the risks created by the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  No more," Pompeo said, adding that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA "put the world at risk because of its fatal flaws."

Among Iran's must-do's, Pompeo includes stopping missile launches and the development of nuclear-capable missiles, allowing the IAEA with "unqualified access" to missile sites throughout the country, releasing all U.S. citizens, ending support for terrorist groups like Lebanese Hezbollah and the youths militia and Taliban in Afghanistan and the IRGC Quds Force's, taking forces that they control out of Syria, and respecting the sovereignty of the Iraqi government.

Should Iran comply, Pompeo said that the regime would benefit from relief from "all principal components of our sanctions regime", re-establishment of full diplomatic relations and access to advanced technology. 

He also stressed that not only European countries but countries around the world should be involved in the forming of a new Iran deal — including Australia, Bahrain, Egypt, India, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the UAE, and "many, many others worldwide."

Meanwhile, Pompeo also laid out President Trump's plan to execute an Iran strategy "outside of the JCPOA" -- which would, in effect, lead to a new deal.  

"As President Trump said two weeks ago, he is ready, willing, and able, to negotiate a new deal. But the deal is not the objective. Our goal is to protect the American people," Pompeo said. 

If Iran does not comply with U.S. demands, Pompeo warned that the sanctions will be severe and harsh.

“He’s talking top to bottom – everything, and it includes economic sanctions, oil, anything that the Iranians that are looking to buy. Right now, they’re looking to buy aircraft and military from Europe… the United States is going to want these European countries not to do that as well,” CBS News Military Analyst and Retired Maj. Mike Lyons told WCBS 880’s Steve Scott and Michael Wallace. “It’s not only just U.S. sanctions that will be to play, but the U.S. will look for other countries to enforce these sanctions as well. It’ll really put Iran behind the eight-ball if we can snap them back on.”

The secretary urged that the U.S. will level "unprecedented financial pressure" on the regime that will leave Iran "battling" to keep its economy alive, deter Iranian aggression including cyber activity, advocate for the Iranian people, and work with partners in Iran, should they be willing to make "major changes", to strike a new deal that will never allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon.

"The leaders in Tehran will have no doubt about our seriousness," Pompeo urged, adding that U.S. sanctions will be the "strongest sanctions in history by the time we are done." 

Pompeo also directed a message to Iranian leadership that their "current activities will be met with steely resolve." He added, "It is America's hope that our labors toward peace and security will bear fruit for the long- suffering people of Iran. We long to see them prosper and flourish as in decades past, and as never before."

Lyons said it is likely that the Trump administration would like to see regime change in Iran.

“To me, there’s an undercurrent here that this administration is looking for regime change,” he said. “There’s really no other way around it.”

Lyons added that Iran likely will not comply with the U.S. demands – at least not in the short term.

“They’ll try to act defiant,” he said. “But it’s going to take six months, like most of these sanctions do as they come into effect – as we saw in North Korea, for example – I think in six months, they might come back to the negotiation table to at least try to get a better deal when it comes to the nuclear weapons that the U.S. is trying to keep the Iranians from having. I don’t think in the short term it’s going to work, but perhaps in the long run.”