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UAE, Bahrain support Pompeo's list of demands for Iran

UAE, Bahrain support Pompeo's list of demands for Iran

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday launched a sweeping broadside against the Iranian government, vowing to use all US economic and military might to destroy its economy and "crush" its operatives and proxies around the world.

Mr Pompeo's speech did not specifically call for regime change in Iran but he did go as far as urging Iranian people not to put up with their leaders, naming President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

"All world countries want independence in their decision-making. and it is not logical that the Americans decide for the world", Rouhani said on Monday following the anti-Iran remarks of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Iran dismissed Washington's ultimatum and a senior Iranian official said it showed the United States was seeking "regime change" in Iran.

Pompeo's demands included that Iran end its support for Middle East terrorist groups, withdraw its forces from Syria, stop backing Houthi rebels in Yemen and "cease its threatening behavior against its neighbors".

Iran expects disruption in its oil industry after the reintroduction of us sanctions that would make it hard to stick to its current production goals, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said over the weekend, when he met with EU's Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete. "We didn't create the list", Pompeo said.

The re-establishment of U.S. sanctions will force European companies to choose between investing in Iran or trading with the United States.

"I believe if the European Union helps us and honors its statements, the level of Iran's oil exports will remain intact and this would not be a reason for changing a decision made in the past", Zanganeh said.

Borrowing a strategy, and a moniker, from what it views as a successful economic isolation campaign against North Korea, Pompeo said the United States is planning a new "pressure campaign".

Secretary of State Pompeo delivers his first major foreign policy speech on Iran since taking office.

He said: "At the end of the day the Iranian people will get to make a choice about their leadership".

"We are going to take steps necessary to address Iran's malign influence in the region", Defense Department spokesman Rob Manning told reporters at the Pentagon. Under a new agreement, the U.S. would be willing to lift all sanctions, restore full diplomatic and commercial ties with Iran, and even support the modernization of its economy, Pompeo said.

Also responding to Pompeo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif accused the United States of a "regression to old habits", saying Washington's diplomatic efforts were a "sham".

But Trump despised the deal, pointing to other aspects of Iranian behavior not covered in the pact, and on May 8 he pulled America out despite intense diplomatic lobbying by European allies who had beseeched him to stick with it by adding tougher new elements. "Are these two not responsible for wasting Iranian lives throughout the Middle East?"

The deal was agreed between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the US, UK, France, China and Russian Federation - plus Germany. It would need to accept broader constraints not just on its nuclear activities but also on its missile programme and wider behaviour in the region.

The administration billed the speech, Pompeo's first policy address as secretary of state, as an articulation of Trump's new strategy toward Iran less than a month after he ignored the pleas of USA allies and withdrew from the nuclear accord. He repeated Trump's argument that Iran would have "bigger problems than they've ever had before" if they resume their nuclear program.

But Pompeo later said he understands the European allies may try to keep the JCPOA in place.

The secretary also made an explicit appeal to the Iranian people.


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