18:45 GMT25 May 2020
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    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, stung by criticism that the latest sanctions on Iran don’t go as far as they should, insisted that new restrictions against Tehran would be successful in changing the behavior of the nation’s leaders.

    Pompeo’s reaction came after Republican Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) suggested that the Trump administration should take a harder line against Iran, reportedly preparing new legislation to cut off Iran from the SWIFT global banking transfer network, the Hill reported.

    READ MORE: Official: US Actions May Render Null OPEC Efforts to Prevent Oil Price Rise

    “I’ve been at this a long time. No one’s going to argue that Secretary Pompeo isn’t tough on Iran, and no one’s going to argue that President Trump isn’t doing the same,” Pompeo said, speaking of himself in the third person on Fox News Sunday.

    Pompeo promised that Iranian banks engaged in what the White House considered to be bad behavior would be sanctioned by the US Treasury Department.

    Pompeo declared that he is “very confident” that the sanctions which take effect Monday, November 5, will change Iranian policy, noting that domestic and international lawmakers have expressed skepticism about the administration's approach in the past.

    “There were a lot of experts that said President Trump’s policy wouldn’t have any impact because it was just the US, and other countries weren’t participating. And in fact, we have built an enormous coalition to keep this world safe,” Pompeo asserted.

    Pompeo commented on the US decision to grant waivers to eight countries, allowing them to import Iranian oil. He did not specify the countries but outlined that European Union nations, after recently condemning the US for its reimposition of sanctions against the Middle Eastern nation, will not be granted permissions to buy Iranian oil.

    The State Department head outlined that, despite the waivers, “these [anti-Iran] sanctions have already had an enormous impact” and that the waivers will be valid for only six months — similar to those imposed by the Obama administration — as eight unidentified nations “need a little bit more time to get to zero.”

    Pompeo pointed out that an importing country buying Iranian oil must deposit Iran's revenue in an escrow account, and that Iran would be allowed to spend money only on a narrow range of humanitarian items.

    The sanctions cover Iranian shipping, financial and energy sectors. As part of the action, the US Department of the Treasury will add over 700 names to a list of blocked Iranian entities. The first round of renewed US sanctions on Iran entered into effect in August.

    Earlier this week, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, said in a joint statement that the parties to the historic 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear treaty would continue to work with Russia, China, and other countries to preserve workable financial channels with Tehran, and condemned the US decision to continue its hardline policies toward the Islamic Republic.


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    sanctions waiver, anti-Iranian sanctions, sanctions, Mike Pompeo, Iran, United States
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