Pompeo remarks prompt Iranian, world officials’ reactions

May 22 , The Iran Project – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remarks on Monday (May 21), stressing that Washington would increase financial pressure on Iran by imposing the “strongest sanctions in history” on the Islamic Republic if Tehran refuses to change the course of its foreign and domestic policy, has sparked several reactions from high-ranking Iranian and world officials.

Some top Iranian and global officials including EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, President of the US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Richard N. Haass, President Hassan Rouhani, former Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Hossein Mousavian as well as Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected remarks by the top US diplomat.

Mogherini stressed that there is no “alternative” to the Iran nuclear deal, after Pompeo vowed “painful” sanctions against Tehran.

“Secretary Pompeo’s speech has not demonstrated how walking away from the JCPOA (nuclear deal) has made or will make the region safer from the threat of nuclear proliferation or how it puts us in a better position to influence Iran’s conduct in areas outside the scope of JCPOA,” said Mogherini in a statement.

“@SecPompeo failed to make case for why US better off abrogating JCPOA now when nuclear limits still good for a decade,” Haass wrote on his Twitter account, adding that:” At some point all-or-nothing diplomacy in which demand is piled upon demand morphs into a policy of regime change. That is where the Trump administration seems to be heading with North Korea and Iran. We will likely end up with neither peaceful outcomes nor regime change.”

In a meantime, President Rouhani said that Washington is in no positions to dictate to an independent Iran.

“The Americans might be able to use threats to advance their interests under some circumstances, but it is not logical that they want to decide for the whole world,” the president said.

“Who you are to decide for Iran and the world and tell Iran what to do and what not to do regarding its nuclear technology?”  Rouhani stated.

Meanwhile, Mousavian wrote on his Twitter page: “Pompeo’s post-deal Iran strategy leaves zero chance for diplomacy and recycles the same coercive policies US administrations have practically implemented for decades. This approach has failed & been counterproductive for the US & the region.”

Also, Zarif in a message condemned Pompeo’s claims, saying “US diplomacy sham is merely a regression to old habits: imprisoned by delusions & failed policies-dictated by corrupt Special Interest-it repeats the same wrong choices and will thus reap the same ill rewards. Iran, meanwhile, is working with partners for post-US JCPOA solutions.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry in a statement termed Pompeo’s cheap statements as a sign of the helplessness of American authorities in the face of Iran.

Reacting to the US secretary of state’s meddlesome remarks, the statement said “Pompeo’s cheap, baseless, offensive and meddlesome statements and his baseless and false labels against the noble and civilized nation of Iran indicate the helplessness of American authorities in the face of the Iranian nation and their futile efforts to distract world public opinion from their illegal acts and breaches of that country’s obligations under the JCPOA and UN Security Council resolution.”

On the other side, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Pompeo’s remarks, and called on rest of the world to follow suit.

US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement which was reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, Britain, France, Russia and China – plus Germany.