By Janet Ekstract
NEW YORK – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his recent press conference at the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C., made it very clear, in no uncertain terms, that the U.S. will not honor any exemptions on oil waivers to countries who previously bought oil from Iran. He said, referring to the Iranian regime: “We made clear, our firmness, our seriousness.”
New sanctions on Iran, which were announced earlier this week on Wednesday, coincide with the one year anniversary of President Trump’s withdrawal from the previous administration’s 2015 nuclear agreement.
Pompeo indicated in his talk, that the U.S. is working closely with its allies and other nations to wean them off of dependence on Iranian crude and to encourage them to purchase oil from other oil producing nations. Our goal, Pompeo reiterated is to “deprive Iran of funds its used to destabilize the Middle East for four decades.”
The secretary of state also explained that the U.S. is working closely with all parties involved to ensure market stability under these circumstances and he added, that we would “advise Iran to behave like a normal country.”
He added that how long the sanctions go on is “solely up to the Ayatollah and his cronies.”
Pompeo added that in addition to stable oil production guarantees from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia – the U.S. has increased its oil production in 2019. The secretary of state also commented that because of stricter sanctions, the estimate is that Iran lost at least 10 billion dollars in oil revenue that Pompeo said would otherwise have gone to support terrorist regimes.
Meanwhile, since President Trump’s decision one year ago to end the previous nuclear deal with Iran, critics have recently pointed out that the new sanctions are basically the same sanctions that were already in place, analysts agree. Critics and analysts further remarked that those sanctions have become a wedge that is driving Iran further away from the negotiating table.
According to press reports, evidence indicates that Iran did remain in compliance with agreed upon parameters in the previous nuclear deal that former President Barack Obama signed off on.
Regardless of the facts, it would appear that the Trump administration prefers to come out the hero while continuing to use tough rhetoric, in this very delicate and tenuous political scenario.
To that end, Pompeo had some encouraging parting remarks for the Iranian people: “I want the Iranian people to know that we are listening to them and standing with them. We will not appease their oppressors as the last administration did, and our hopes are for a better life for them.”
In the formal statement released from the White House on Wednesday, a list of 12 demands that Iran must meet to comply with any potential new nuclear treaty are listed below:
The first and most crucial condition stated is to declare to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) a total account of all prior military dimensions of its nuclear program and permanently and verifiably abandon such work unconditionally.
The second demand includes Iran ending enrichment and never pursing plutonium reprocessing which includes closing down its heavy water reactor.
The third condition is to provide the IAEA with unqualified access to all sites throughout Iran.
The fourth demand includes ending Iran’s proliferation of ballistic missiles and halting further launching or development of nuclear-capable missile systems.
The fifth demand is to release all U.S. citizens and citizens of U.S. partners and allies.
The sixth demand is to end support to Middle East “terrorist” groups, including Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
The seventh demand is to respect the sovereignty of the Iraqi government and permit the disarming, demobilisation and reintegration of Shia militias.
The eighth demand is ending military support for the Houthi rebels and work towards a peaceful, political settlement in Yemen.
The ninth demand is to withdraw all forces under Iran’s command throughout the entirety of Syria.
The tenth demand is to end Taliban support and support for other “terrorists” in Afghanistan and the region and cease harbouring senior al-Qaeda leaders.
The eleventh demand is to end the Islamic Revolutionary Guard corps-linked Quds Force support for “terrorists’ and “militant” partners around the world.
The twelfth and final demand is to end its threatening behaviour against its neighbours, many of whom are US allies, including its threats to destroy Israel and its firing of missiles at Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and threats to international shipping and destructive cyberattacks.