This new policy on Iran won’t be easy — but it’s needed
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just dramatically upped the ante Iran must pay to forestall a US offensive meant to destroy its economy and crush its terrorist proxies around the globe.
“Every country will have to participate,” Pompeo noted, and if they don’t, “they know where we stand.”
It sounds good — and if it succeeds, the Trump administration will have made the world a safer place. But making it work will require a concerted effort by the entire administration.
Speaking at The Heritage Foundation, Pompeo unveiled a list of 12 tough demands, most of which Tehran is unlikely to accept — at least not without pressure.
They include ending all nuclear enrichment programs, closing its heavy-water reactor, opening all military sites to full inspections and ending ballistic-missile tests.
And, unlike the 2015 deal from which Trump has withdrawn, the conditions aren’t limited to nuclear matters. They also include an end to Iran’s support of terror groups and its campaign of aggression, including at sea and in cyberspace,
Iran, Pompeo warned, “will be forced to make a choice: either fight to keep its economy off life-support at home or keep squandering precious wealth on fights abroad. It does not have the resources to do both.”
All this is a deliberate slap in the face to two central myths of the Obama deal: that it would prompt Iran’s government to moderate and that Tehran’s regional meddling doesn’t matter as much as temporary limits on its nuke program. The results of that approach include the horror that is Syria.
Still, Pompeo held out an olive branch: If Tehran agrees, the United States will lift all sanctions, re-establish diplomatic relations and provide advanced technology.
And while Europe isn’t on board, multinational corporations have already signaled their intent to comply with reimposed US sanctions.
Pompeo has made clear that this administration means to not just turn its back on the Obama deal but also to correct its substantial flaws. It won’t be easy — but it’s a major step that was long overdue.
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