Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Eye on Iran: U.S. Lays Out Demands for New Iran Deal

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The Trump administration put Iran on notice that any new deal would require it to stop enriching all uranium and halt its support for militant groups in the region, sweeping demands that Tehran swiftly rejected... In return for agreeing to an accord on nuclear and regional issues to replace the 2015 Iran nuclear accord from which President Donald Trump withdrew this month, Mr. Pompeo said, the U.S. would lift the punishing economic sanctions it is now moving to impose...

Germany's government will help German firms with business in Iran where it can, but cannot entirely shield them from the U.S. decision to quit the Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions against Tehran, the economy minister told a newspaper.

A British mother jailed in Iran after being convicted of spying has been told to expect another conviction after appearing in court over a new "invented" charge, her husband has said. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 39, who was arrested and jailed in 2016, appeared in court on Saturday accused of spreading propaganda against Tehran's hardline Islamist regime, he said.


Groups who opposed the Iran nuclear deal were supportive of Pompeo's speech, while those who support the deal blasted the speech. For example, on one hand, from United Against Nuclear Iran CEO Mark Wallace: "Secretary Pompeo wisely made the case that the United States needed to tackle the danger from Iran in a comprehensive manner. For too long, the United States has focused on the nuclear file to the exclusion of a wide array of additional problematic activity."  

[Pompeo's] are maximalist demands, but [they are] realistic in the sense that the comparison between the U.S. economy and the Iranian economy is actually no comparison at all... So the United States has enough leverage to get the Europeans to the table, and so, in that sense, the threat of secondary sanctions on Western companies that are contemplating still doing business in Iran provides the U.S. with the leverage they need to get Europe on board with this strategy.

German companies have refused to denounce the Iranian government for its anti-Semitism, hostility toward Israel, and even its denial of the Holocaust: "United Against Nuclear Iran, or UANI, has petitioned more than a dozen major German companies, asking them to sign a declaration promising to not do business with Iran until its leadership stops denying the Holocaust and calling for the destruction of the Jewish state."

Although the United States is withdrawing from the nuclear deal formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) retains both the right and the obligation to ensure the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program... Regardless of the results of Washington's decision, Iran has a binding legal obligation to grant the IAEA access to all relevant sites, materials, equipment, documents, and personnel to resolve outstanding questions about the military dimensions of Iran's past nuclear activities.


The United States is ready to respond if Iran decides to resume its nuclear program, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday in a speech outlining demands on Tehran to change its behavior.  "Our demands on Iran are not unreasonable: give up your program," Pompeo said in a speech outlining demands on Iran. "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.

French President Emmanuel Macron's trip to Russia this week once threatened to split France from its European allies. Now it's part of a wider European effort to tie President Vladimir Putin to the Iran nuclear accord.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Monday that he will meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss Washington's position on the nuclear deal with Iran.

The EU's foreign policy chief warned Monday there was "no alternative" to the Iran nuclear deal, after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed unprecedented sanctions against Tehran following Washington's withdrawal from the pact.

Iran will be forced back to the negotiating table to broker a new nuclear deal because European support for the existing pact won't be enough to save it now that the U.S. has withdrawn, a senior United Arab Emirates official said.

With Trump pulling the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal -- stirring uncertainty among numerous interest groups and constituencies, both foreign and domestic -- it would be well to reflect on how this might have been prevented by seeking Senate approval.


Iran's President Hassan Rouhani lashed out at US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, saying that the world would not accept that Washington impose its decisions on other countries.

Hard on the heels of U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday laid out a new strategy to contain Iran's nuclear ambitions and regional imperialism... It's unlikely the mullahs will meet Mr. Pompeo's terms on their own, but as tougher sanctions set in, an increasingly angry Iranian public could force their hand.


The U.S. military will take all necessary steps to confront Iranian behavior in the region and is still assessing whether that could include new actions or doubling down on current ones, the Pentagon said on Monday.


A senior Iranian military commander poured scorn on U.S. threats to tighten sanctions on Tuesday, saying the Islamic Republic's people would respond by punching U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the mouth.  

Iran's foreign minister tweeted that the United States was repeating "the same wrong choices" after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded sweeping changes in the country's foreign and nuclear policies.

President Donald Trump's new, more aggressive strategy toward Iran depends on getting help from U.S. partners -- the very allies he spurned in withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran.

Punishing Iran is not enough. Sanctions are not a strategy. The United States is either committed to working with partners and against Iran in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere or not. The diplomatic path to a better deal is still unclear. The Trump administration should come up a viable and comprehensive Iran strategy fast and then tell everybody what it is.


In a rare show of public disagreement, Iran on Monday appeared to reject remarks from Russia's leader saying the Islamic Republic should pull its forces out of Syria after a political settlement is reached in the war-torn country.

Syria's military on Monday captured an enclave in southern Damascus from Islamic State militants following a ruinous monthlong battle, bringing the entire capital and its far-flung suburbs under full government control for the first time since the civil war began in 2011. The gains freed President Bashar Assad's forces to move with allied militiamen on remaining rebel-held territory in the south near the border with Israel, as Syria's chief ally Iran comes under growing pressure from the Trump administration to withdraw its troops from the country.


Bahrain's Foreign Ministry has said it affirms full support for the United States' strategy toward Iran after America's top diplomat threatened to impose the "strongest sanctions in history" against Tehran if the country's leadership did not change the course of its foreign and domestic policy. "


Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly criticized Hezbollah for operating as the most heavily armed militia and a political party in Lebanon and urged the militant group to halt military activities inside and outside the country, including in Syria. In a report to the Security Council obtained Monday by The Associated Press, Guterres also called on Lebanon's government and armed forces "to take all measures necessary to prohibit Hezbollah and other armed groups from acquiring weapons and building paramilitary capacity" outside the authority of the state.

As the race for cabinet portfolios accelerates before the appointment of a new Prime Minister, "Hezbollah" has made new demands on political and service portfolios, contrary to its previous shares in governments since 2005... Hezbollah opponents link this change to rising sanctions against the party and its leaders, while supporters say the party's decision is merely internal and linked to the fight against widespread corruption in all state institutions.

Hamas has an excellent relationship with Hezbollah, and the two groups communicate almost on a daily basis, Hamas chief in Gaza Yahya Sinwar said Tuesday. If Israel attacks Gaza, "the resistance will have a new surprise," he added.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid was today urged to halt a "brazen" parade through London involving supporters of the militant group Hezbollah as campaigners warned that it will fuel hate crime against both Jews and Muslims.


A Q&A with Iran expert Kenneth M. Pollack on the next steps for the U.S., Europe and the mullahs.

Eye on Iran is a periodic news summary from United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) a program of the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Eye on Iran is not intended as a comprehensive media clips summary but rather a selection of media elements with discreet analysis in a PDA friendly format. For more information please email press@uani.com.

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a non-partisan, broad-based coalition that is united in a commitment to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to become a regional super-power possessing nuclear weapons.  UANI is an issue-based coalition in which each coalition member will have its own interests as well as the collective goal of advancing an Iran free of nuclear weapons.

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