U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday threatened to impose the “strongest sanctions in history” against Iran if the country’s leadership did not change the course of its foreign and domestic policy.
He also said the United States is ready to respond if Iran decides to resume its nuclear programme, via the uranium enrichment.
Pompeo issued the threats in a speech on Monday at Heritage Foundation, Washington D.C.. The fiery speech outlined demands on Tehran to change its behaviour.
Weeks after the United States pulled out of an international nuclear deal with Iran, Pompeo spelled out a hardline approach towards the Islamic Republic that included working closely with the Pentagon and regional allies to contain Iran.
Pompeo laid out 12 demands for Iran and said relief from economic sanctions would only come when Washington had seen tangible shifts in Iran’s policies.
His threat of further sanctions came as European parties to the landmark nuclear deal – France, Britain and Germany – were working to find a way to keep the pact in effect with Iran after Washington’s exit.
Pompeo said Washington would be open to a new treaty and wanted the support of America’s allies.
Earlier this month, Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement which he called a “horrible, one-sided deal”, saying it did not address Iran’s ballistic missile activities and check in its regional behaviour.
“Our demands on Iran are not unreasonable: give up your programme. “Should they choose to go back, should they begin to enrich, we are fully prepared to respond to that as well,” Pompeo said, declining to detail what the response could be.
“I hope they will make a different decision, choose a different path,” he added.