Speaking at the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing Washington think tank, Pompeo laid out a list of 12 “basic requirements”for Iran. The demands call on Iran to withdraw from Syria, “release all US citizens,” end support for Houthi rebels in Yemen, stop “enrichment” of uranium, and promise never to process plutonium. Iran must also allow “unqualified access to all nuclear sites throughout the country,” Pompeo said.
He promised that the US would impose the “strongest sanctions in history” if Iran failed to comply with these demands…
The secretary of state also pledged that the US “will track down Iranian operatives and their Hezbollah proxies operating around the world, and we will crush them. Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East.”
Speaking directly to the Iranian people, Pompeo claimed that “President [Hassan] Rouhani and Foreign Minister [Javad] Zarif… are your elected leaders. Are they not the most responsible for your economic struggles?” He added: “The United States believes you deserve better.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has rejected demands made of Tehran by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, vowing to continue “our path,” insisting that the era when the US could “decide for the world” is over.
The US government has regressed 15 years, back to “Bush Jr.’s era” and is once again trying to dictate its will on the entire world, Rouhani said as he rejected Washington’s Monday ultimatum.
“Who are you to decide for Iran and the world? The world today does not accept America to decide for the world, as countries are independent … that era is over … We will continue our path with the support of our nation,” Rouhani said, as quoted by ILNA news agency.
One major point used as a bargaining chip is, however, entirely unrelated to the Iranian nuclear program. It reads: “Iran must withdraw all forces under Iranian command from Syria.”
The demand conveniently ignores the fact that Iranian troops were invited by the Syrian government and have been helping fight Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) on the ground – while the US troops, stuck in Syria indefinitely, were not. “Nobody invited them there,”Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said in February, reminding the world that their presence was illegal…
Another US demand is that Iran must “respect the sovereignty of the Iraq government and permit the disarming, demobilization, and reintegration of Shia militias.” Just as in Syria, Iranian troops are in Iraq with the approval of Baghdad, and the country’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) even receive funding and training from Iran and have been declared part of Iraq’s security apparatus.
Pompeo demands that Iran closes its heavy water reactor. Iran can not close its heavy water reactor. It does not have one…
There is a demand that Iran does not develop “nuclear capable” missiles. Iran had already committed to that under the JCPOA…
The Europeans are enraged that Trump s threatens them with secondary sanctions if they stick to the agreement they signed and continue to deal with Iran…
The Pompeo speech will unite the people in Iran. The moderate neoliberals around the current president Rouhani will join the nationalist hardliners in their resistance.
From EJ Magnier:
During his meeting with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad in Sochi, President Vladimir Putin expressed his wishes for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Syria. The Russian president, however, did not explain how he would get the withdrawal of US and Turkish forces that occupy about 50% of northern and eastern Syria. These forces have expansionist and geopolitical aims that suggest a very long-term occupation.
In fact, the explosive situation on several fronts in the Middle East means that no force should withdraw anytime soon. The coming months could reveal the existence of belligerent plans likely to drag the Middle East into a generalized war. Therefore, both the US and Turkey deem it necessary to maintain their forces on the ground, dangerously close to the hottest point in the world, being ready to intervene.
President Donald Trump announced a few months ago his intention to withdraw his troops from Syria. He did not order them to attack and defeat Daesh in the provinces of Hassake and Deir Ezzor. Many months have elapsed without real military activity against Daesh, at least without activity serious enough to justify the presence of US forces and demonstrate in a concrete way their declared intention to fight exclusively against the terrorist group and to destroy it.
In the meantime, Washington maintains two military airports and bases that can accommodate large contingents in the north, as well as commanding some 35,000 Kurdish and Arab militants. In addition, in the Kurdish sector to the north and east, as well as to the border crossing at al-Tanf, US, British and French forces train, feed and maintain 30,000 other militants under their command.
But the occupation forces in Syria are not exclusively American. Turkey has taken control of Afrin and Idlib, where 70,000 to 100,000 militants are based, including those of former al-Qaeda (Hayat Tahrir al-Sham al-Front al Nusra) and Horras al- Deen (the Guardians of Religion), the latest version, even more radical. Turkey has created schools, imposed the Turkish language and considers this Syrian territory as part of Turkey.