Days after he listed out a set of 12 demands to Iranian regime including giving up its nuclear weapons ambition, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said meeting these “simple requirements” would benefit the Iranian people to an enormous extent. On Monday, in his first major foreign policy speech, Pompeo demanded that Iran give up its nuclear weapons ambition, stop its alleged destabilising behaviour in the region, and stop uranium enrichment, among other demands. He also sought the support of European allies and other global partners and friends, including India. “These are a set of simple requirements that the Iranian regime could quite easily comply with, and it would benefit the Iranian people to an enormous extent,” Pompeo told reporters at a State Department news conference yesterday.
“Frankly, what we laid out seemed like a pretty straightforward set of requirements that we would put on any country in the world – to stop malign behaviour that threatens other of its neighbours and other parts of the world,” he said. Pompeo, in a major speech, threatened tougher sanctions against Iran. Sanctions that had been lifted under the Iran nuclear deal — which America pulled out of early this month — are due to go back into effect, and they are expected to pressure an already shaky economy. “This is just the beginning. The sting of sanctions will be painful,” Pompeo said before a packed house at the conservative Heritage Foundation, a top American think-tank.
Interacting with reporters at the State Department, Pompeo re-emphasised that the tasks Iran needs to undertake aren’t that difficult. “I’ve seen reports that these are a fantasy and they can’t happen, but we ask for things that are really fairly simple that, frankly, most nations in the world engage in. We ask them to stop firing missiles into Riyadh,” he said. “This is not a fantasy to imagine the Iranians making a decision not to fire missiles into another nation and threatening American lives that travel through that airport. It’s not a fantasy to ask them to cease engaging in terror. These were all a set of demands, the demands we put on the rest of the world,” Pompeo said. Describing Iran as global challenge, he said Quds Force (special forces unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards) was a shared threat across the world. “I am confident that we can collectively develop a diplomatic response that achieves the simple outcomes that we put forward. We wouldn’t tolerate Iceland doing what the Iranians are doing,” he said.