Netanyahu thanks United States for new Iran policy outlined by Pompeo

EU Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and Mohammad Javad Zarif

The Pentagon on Monday hinted at a more aggressive approach toward Iran following Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's threats to "crush" the nation with economic sanctions. The Trump administration has declared financial war on the Iranian regime.

At the same time, Mr Pompeo offered Iran a series of dramatic potential U.S. concessions if it agrees to make "major changes".

"At this milestone, we have to ask: What has the Iranian revolution given the Iranian people?"

"Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East", he said in outlining the new United States strategy on handling the Islamic regime, including 12 tough conditions from Washington for any "new deal" with Teheran.

He also demanded Iran release all U.S. citizens imprisoned on a variety of charges, including espionage.

"Any time sanctions are put in place, countries have to give up economic activity", Pompeo said. The closest he came to that was saying, "We hope, indeed we expect, that the Iranian regime will come to its senses and support - not suppress - the aspirations of its own citizens".

On Monday, a Pentagon spokesman said the US will be taking steps to "address Iran's malign influence and destabilization actions" but declined to comment on any specific moves.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that countries with nuclear weapons were "threatening the world", and criticised the United States's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. "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 I set forward", said Pompeo.

In a speech in Washington, America's top diplomat said Iran would be "battling to keep its economy alive" after the sanctions took effect.

Iran, Pompeo warned, "will be forced to make a choice: either fight to keep its economy off life-support at home or keep squandering precious wealth on fights overseas. It will not have the resources to do both", Pompeo said.

More news: Denuclearization, sanctions, peace: Issues facing Trump-Kim summit

Rather than getting on board with the Trump administration's plans, European leaders have been looking for ways to skirt the new sanctions.

"With friends like that, who needs enemies?" In an interview with Fars News, Iranian parliamentarian Mohammad Dehghan said the United States wants three things from Iran, which Europe also wants: Iran's nuclear program limited permanently, Iran's missile capabilities limited and Iran to pull back on its regional influence. Pompeo said that the long list of demands was Iran's fault, and that crippling sanctions would bring them back to the negotiating table. "But you should know that we will hold those doing prohibited business in Iran to account". It was a very long list.

In early May, Trump terminated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and reimposed the sanctions suspended under the agreement.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, speaking to reporters in Argentina, said he believed packaging all of Iran's concerning behavior into one agreement would be a heavy lift.

It's a stance highly criticised by European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini who said there was "no alternative" to the agreement.

"The demands would require that the Iranian leopard not just change its spots but transform itself into a lamb", writes Barbara Slavin of the Atlantic Council. Judging by its reaction to similar proposals made previously, Tehran is likely to reject most, if not all.

The deal was created to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. It let Iran keep its nuclear infrastructure and keep enriching uranium if not by as much.

"We couldn't get it done".

The new deal he proposed included demands to curb Tehran's ballistic missile programme and its expansionist moves in the Middle East. Currently, inspectors must outline the basis for their suspicions. The state secretary noted that every country has to take part in the United States' sanctions campaign against Iran.

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