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US top diplomat Pompeo issues list of demands to Iran

May 21, 2018

Secretary of State Pompeo has said that before a new nuclear pact is reached, Tehran must stop all military activities in the Middle East. He has promised major concessions in return.

Mike Pompeo
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/J. S. Applewhite

Pompeo threatens "strongest sanctions in history"

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a list of 12 demands on Monday that he said should be included in any new nuclear deal with Iran. He threatened "the strongest sanctions in history" if Tehran refuses to change course.

Following President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the deal, Pompeo said a new framework must ensure that "Iran has no possible path to a nuclear weapon, ever."

Pompeo's key demands:

  • Iran must cease enriching all uranium. Under the 2015 deal, Iran was allowed to continue enrichment under strict limitations for energy purposes.
  • Tehran must allow "unqualified access to all sites throughout the country," including military sites that were declared off-limits under the old agreement.
  • The government of Iran must also cease a range of military activities throughout the Middle East, including support of Houthi rebels in Yemen as well as support of Hezbollah and the Syrian government.
  • All US citizens detained in Iran on "spurious charges" must be released.

What the US would offer in return: Pompeo promised that under this new agreement, the US would make major concessions. This includes a full restoration of diplomatic and commercial ties. The secretary of state also promised support for the modernization of Iran's economy.

What happens next: Iran is unlikely to accept any of these conditions. US allies that agreed to the original pact – the UK, France, and Germany – have been working to find a way to keep that deal in effect, particularly as the US withdrawal and new raft of sanctions will hurt a number of European firms with connections to Iran. Washington has threatened to hold anyone doing prohibited business in Iran to account.

es/rc (AP, Reuters)