Following a decision from President Trump to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to reveal the Trump administration’s new “comprehensive strategy toward Iran.”
More details concerning the new strategy will be announced on Monday when Pompeo will look to garner support from European allies which are hesitant about ending the Iran deal.
The United States has already enacted sanctions against Iran and will look to convince European members to join in the effort to force Iran back to the negotiating table.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 19, 2018
As Washington Examiner reports, Brian Hook, a senior adviser to Pompeo, said the administration needs to move forward with a more examined approach.
“Our broad approach now that we’ve been emphasizing is that we need… a framework that’s going to address the totality of Iran’s threats,” Hook explained.
“We think that we’ve been able to make a lot of progress on the range of issues on the nuclear and security sort of objectives,” Hook added. “And so we have a period of opportunity to work with our allies to try to come up with a new security architecture, a new framework, and I think that, again, people, I think, are overstating the disagreements between the U.S. and Europe.”
And, “It was economic pressure that brought the Iranians to the table a few years ago. We very much want a diplomatic outcome, one that is going to increase the security of the American people… And so the goal of our effort is to bring all necessary pressure to bear on Iran to change its behavior and to pursue a new framework that can resolve our concerns. And that’s what we’re going to be discussing.”
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 18, 2018
Here’s more, from Politico:
Hook declined to share details ahead of Pompeo’s speech, but he promised it is aimed at achieving a “better deal” than the 2015 nuclear deal, which was negotiated by the Barack Obama administration.
The deal gave Iran relief from economic sanctions in exchange for severe curbs on its nuclear program. Aside from the U.S. and Iran, the deal involved Germany, Britain, France, China, and Russia. International inspectors say Iran has been upholding its end of the agreement.
But Trump insists the deal was too narrow and that, instead of focusing only on nuclear issues, it should have dealt with Iran’s ballistic missile program as well as its aggressive military activities in the Middle East. Trump also criticized the fact that some provisions of the agreement expire starting in the next decade.
The U.S. president announced May 8 that, in quitting the deal, he will reimpose economic sanctions on Iran and on companies in other countries that do business with the Islamist-led state.
European leaders have been talking to Iran about how to salvage the deal sans the U.S. It’s a challenge for European countries because staying in the deal could expose their companies to U.S. sanctions, but they are mulling ways to block U.S. penalties on their firms.
It’s also not clear why the Trump administration believes it can muster a grand coalition to pressure Iran into talking. The U.S. president has shaken Europe’s trust by walking away from several multilateral agreements, including the Paris climate change deal.
But Hook said the United States and its European allies, at least, agree on far more areas than they disagree on. On areas of concern such as Iran’s missiles, its human rights record, and the need for stronger inspections of its nuclear program, the U.S., and its allies agree that more can be done, Hook said.
Hook did not give a timeframe for when the administration was expecting to complete negotiations over a new deal. The previous deal, confirmed by former President Obama and then-Secretary of State John Kerry, took several years to finalize.