The demands ranged from ceasing all nuclear activity to ending support for terrorist groups like the Houthi rebels in Yemen, to pulling Iranian forces out of Yemen and Syria.
“Relief from our efforts will come only when we see tangible, demonstrated, and sustained shifts in Tehran’s policies,” Pompeo said during the speech delivered at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington. Pompeo noted the list of demands may seem long, but placed the blame for the long list on Iran’s malign activity including holding U.S. citizens hostage.
However, Pompeo did not explicitly outline the pressure campaign the U.S. intends to use to bring Iran to the negotiating table, nor did he outline a timeline for achieving his stated goals.
Pompeo said the new sanctions are “just the beginning” of the pressure campaign and the sting “will only grow more painful” if the regime does not change course.
“These will be the strongest sanctions in history by the time we are done,” Pompeo said.
Affecting that much change in Iran’s behavior may be an uphill battle for the Trump administration, given the lack of support for this new deal from European allies.
“From my conversations with European friends I know that they broadly share these same views of what the Iranian regime must do to gain acceptance in the international community,” Pompeo said, calling on allies to join the U.S. in pressuring Iran to change.
But Pompeo later said he understands the European allies may try to keep the JCPOA in place.
“That is certainly their decision to make. They know where we stand,” Pompeo said.
“We couldn’t get it done. We couldn’t reach an agreement there,” Pompeo said of his efforts. He didn’t specify how he would convince the European allies to go along with the U.S. plan. “I’m convinced that over a period of time, there will be a broad recognition that the strategy president trump has laid out is the right one, that will put Iran in a place where it will one day rejoin civilization in the way we all hope that it will.”
Those moves to save the deal indicate the Europeans would be reluctant to join a coalition with the U.S. to negotiate a new deal.
And despite those moves, Iran says Europe’s support for the JCPOA is not enough.
“With the withdrawal of America… the European political support for the accord is not sufficient,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told the EU Commissioner for energy and climate during a meeting in Tehran Sunday.
Pompeo reiterated those threats today. “You should know that we will hold those doing prohibited business in Iran to account. Over the coming weeks, we will send teams of specialists to countries around the world to further explain the Administration’s policy, discuss the implications of sanctions re-imposition, and hear your concerns.”
As tensions with the Europeans increase, Pompeo called for U.S. allies around the world to support the administration’s new plan.
“I want the Australians, the Bahrainians, the Egyptians, the Indians, the Japanese, the Jordanians, the Kuwaitis, the Omanis, the Qataris, the Saudi Arabians, the South Koreans, the UAE, and many, many others worldwide to join in this effort against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo also called for Congress’s support, saying a treaty ratified by Congress, rather than executive action, is the preferred course of action. He expressed confident a plan proposed by President Trump would “surely garner… widespread support from our elected leaders and the American people.”
Pompeo referenced diplomacy with North Korea as evidence of Trump’s “sincerity and vision.”