Mike Pompeo vows to place 'strongest sanctions in history' on Iran

By Sara Shayanian  |  May 21, 2018 at 10:44 AM
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May 21 (UPI) -- The United States would place the strongest sanctions in history on Iran unless it changes its behavior in the Middle East, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday.

Speaking at the Heritage Foundation, Pompeo unveiled President Donald Trump's new policy on Iran just weeks after the president pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Iran nuclear deal.

"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," Pompeo said.

Iran used money gained from the accord to fuel proxy wars across the Middle East instead of boosting the "economic fortunes of a struggling people," he said

The United States will "crush" Iranian operatives and Hezbollah operatives around the world, Pompeo said, adding that if Iran chose to restart their nuclear program, they would have "bigger problems that they've ever had before."

Pompeo said the United States would work with allies to counter the what he said was Iran's "destabilizing activities in the region," block their "financing of terror" and ensure Iran has no possible path to a nuclear weapon.

"The sting of sanctions will only grow more painful if the regime does not change course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen for itself and the people of Iran," Pompeo said. "These will be the strongest sanctions in history by the time we are done."

Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, which was reached between Iran, the United States, Britain, France, Russia and Germany.

The European Union's energy commissioner said Saturday the EU will stay committed to the Iran nuclear deal as long as it complies.

On Friday, the European Commission, the E.U. executive branch, announced the launch of a "formal process to activate the Blocking Statute by updating the list of U.S. sanctions on Iran falling within its scope."

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