On Monday, the Trump Administration issued their list of demands to be included in any possible nuclear treaty with Iran if they wish to replace the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), of which President Trump withdrew from on May 8, 2018. The Trump Administration has threatened Iran with “the strongest sanctions in history” if they choose not to comply and change their course, as reported by the Associated Press.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made clear that any nuclear deal would require Iran to cease enriching uranium, which was allowed under the JCPOA negotiated under the Obama Administration. The United States would also demand Iran to change their foreign policy strategies and end their involvement in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Afghanistan.
“This list may seem long to some, but it is simply a reflection of the massive scope of Iranian malign behavior,” said Pompeo. “America did not create this need for changed behavior. Iran did.”
Pompeo says that President Trump’s approach would guarantee “Iran has no possible path to a nuclear weapon, ever.” Pompeo called for a better deal to be negotiated which would constrain Iran’s behavior while stating the United States would “apply unprecedented financial pressure” in their efforts to bring Iranian leadership back to the table.
“These will end up being the strongest sanctions in history by the time we are complete,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo while speaking to the Heritage Foundation, as reported by the Associated Press.
Pompeo also conveyed a list of concessions the United States would consider should the Iranian government agrees to make “major changes.” If a new agreement were to be penned the United States would be willing to lift all economic sanctions, restore full diplomatic and commercial relations, and support the country in a modernizing of their economy. “It is America’s hope that our labors toward peace and security will bear fruit for the long-suffering people of Iran,” said Mike Pompeo.
Pompeo stated that Iran must allow nuclear inspectors “unqualified access to all sites throughout the country.” This would include the military sites that were considered off-limits in the JCPOA. Pompeo added that Iran must also declare all previous efforts and attempts at building a nuclear weapon.
Iran was recently outed by Israel with regard to their attempt to conceal their early efforts at building a nuclear weapon. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a press conference in which he presented physical evidence smuggled out of Iran which clearly displayed their early attempts at building a nuclear bomb, including blueprints. The JCPOA was contingent on these disclosures being made to the UN International Atomic Energy Agency. Iran’s failure to do so rendered the JCPOA null-and-void. The revelation that Iran lied about their past nuclear weapons research and then hid that research from inspectors only bolstered Israel’s claims that Iran intended to pursue nuclear weapons at the close of the JCPOA. The fact that Iran lied about the existence of their nuclear weapons research and hid them from inspectors clearly illustrates their intent on utilizing those plans in the future. Iran has stated their intentions to “wipe Israel off the map.”
Pompeo added that Iran must stop engaging in a variety of activities in the Middle East that have inflamed tensions in and around the region. He also said that Iran must end their support for Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen, “withdraw all forces” from Syria, stop any support for their ally Hezbollah and stop making threats towards Israel. Hezbollah has been deemed a terrorist group by the United States, European Union, France, Australia, Canada, Arab League, and Gulf Cooperation Council. Since the inception of Hezbollah to present day, the elimination of Israel has been one of their primary goals as anti-Semitism dominates their ranks.
Pompeo also stated that any agreement would also require Iran to “release all U.S. citizens” that went “missing” in Iran or being held on “spurious charges.”
American’s top diplomat also stated that he could not put a timeline on how long the pressure campaign would take in order to draw Iran to the negotiating table.
“At the end of the day, the Iranian people will get to make their choice about their leadership,” said Pompeo. “If they make the decision quickly, that would be wonderful. If they choose not to do so, we will stay hard at this until we achieve the outcomes that I set forward today,” per the AP.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also drew a sharp contrast from the Obama Administration in that he stated “a treaty is our preferred way to go.” The Obama Administration attempted to pass the JCPOA as a treaty however, Congress roundly rejected the measure in a bipartisan manner. Many of the democrats that were upset with President Trump’s decision to pull out of the JCPOA are on record objecting to its passage under the Obama Administration. The irony here is that had democrats believed the JCPOA was beneficial to United States interests, then why didn’t they pass it as a treaty when they had the opportunity to do so? It’s because they knew it was a bad deal and their voting record proves as much.
Pompeo also address the European cosigners of the JCPOA, all of which have signaled their desire to salvage what they can from the deal. He said that he fully understood that the administration’s decisions “will pose financial and economic difficulties for a number of our friends.” He reiterated the United States’ decision to follow through with punishing European companies that do business with Iran under the JCPOA and in doing so, violate United States sanctions.
“I know our allies in Europe may try to keep the old nuclear deal going with Tehran. That is their decision to make. They know where we stand,” closed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Basically, this is the Trump Administration’s opening bid to re-start negotiations for a deal that would fix the massive problems littered throughout the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Iran must stop enriching uranium, period. The enrichment of uranium illustrates Iran’s desire to return to their plans of building a nuclear bomb. When this is coupled with the nuclear weapons research Iran lied about when entering the JCPOA, the truth in inescapable; they wish to build a nuclear bomb as soon as possible.
Since the JCPOA allowed for uranium enrichment and Iran hid their weapons research from inspectors when they were supposed to disclose them while entering the JCPOA, it’s quite feasible that Iran planned on gathering all the ingredients for a nuclear weapon just to bring them all together at the close of the Iran nuclear deal.
Every country that conducts nuclear weapons research does so on military bases, including the United States. Per the JCPOA, nuclear weapons inspectors are not allowed on Iranian military installations. This is undeniably a horrible loophole that the Iranian government could try to pass a nuclear bomb through. Common sense alone should have negated this provision however, it made it into the final deal. A deal Iran never even signed.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not touch on Iran’s tests of ballistic missiles in his speech to the Heritage Foundation as it pertains to any possible nuclear treaty with Iran however, President Trump has in the past. Iran’s testing of ballistic missiles is troublesome to say the least when paired with their harsh rhetoric towards Israel. This is an important factor that we are hoping Pompeo overlooked and President Trump still harbors. Iran boasted that their latest missile, dubbed the “Khorramshahr,” is capable of reaching Israel and has the ability to carry “multiple warheads.” Israel is a United Stated ally and the stand-alone democracy in the Middle East.
Finally, Iran must stop exacerbating unrest throughout the Middle East by supporting various proxies within the region. Curtailing Iranian behavior in the Middle East Theater must be included in any deal since their actions constantly destabilize areas of American interest and that of our allies’.