Report and analysis by PMOI/MEK
May 21, 2018 - In a speech to the Heritage Foundation, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo laid out the roadmap for the U.S. policy toward the Iranian regime after President Donald Trump ended the United States participation in the nuclear deal with Iran, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“Two weeks ago, President Trump terminated the United States participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, more commonly known as the nuclear deal,” Pompeo said, stressing that the decision means the U.S. will no longer accept wealth creation for the heads of the Iranian regime of the launching of missile on neighboring countries or expansions of regional power at the expense of other countries.
Shortcomings of the JCPOA
“The JCPOA put the world at risk because of its fatal flaws,” Pompeo said, flaws which the U.S. would not accept in subsequent arrangements. The flaws include:
- The sunset clause: The JCPOA eventually lifts restrictions on Iran’s uranium enrichment capabilities, enabling it to resume its nuclear weapons program at full force. “After the countdown clock ran out on the deal’s sunset provisions, Iran would be free for a quick sprint to the bomb,” Pompeo said in his address, which would set off a catastrophic nuclear arms race in the region.
- Coming clear of past weaponization activities: The Iranian regime never acknowledged having a nuclear weapons program. But intelligence provided by the Iranian resistance and other parties have time and again proven that the regime was pursuing the creation of atomic bombs.
- Inspections: “The mechanisms for inspecting and verifying Iran’s compliance with the deal were simply not strong enough,” Pompeo said. Under the JCPOA, inspectors are only allowed to inspect declared nuclear sites, and the inspection of any new location is subject to a review process that can take up to 54 days. The Iranian resistance has on several occasions revealed the locations of new nuclear sites after the JCPOA, but inspectors have not had access to them.
- Missile program: “The deal did nothing to address Iran’s continuing development of ballistic and cruise missiles, which could deliver nuclear warheads” Pompeo said in his speech at the Heritage Foundation. The Iranian regime has been continuing its ballistic missile program at full speed and has conducted over 20 missile launches since the signing of the JCPOA. Part of the funds released under the agreement have been funneled to the regime’s missile program.
- Support for terrorism in the Middle East region: “The JCPOA permitted the Iranian regime to use the money from the JCPOA to boost the economic fortunes of a struggling people, but the regime’s leaders refused to do so,” Pompeo said. Instead the regime used its newfound treasure to fuel conflicts across the Middle East and lining the pockets of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and its proxies in the countries of the region. “Iran advanced its march across the Middle East during the JCPOA,” Pompeo said.
The illusions of the previous administration
“The Obama administration made a bet that the deal would spur Iran to stop its rogue-state actions and conform to international norms,” Pompeo said. “That bet was a loser with massive repercussions for all the people living in the Middle East.”
But as the past three years have proven, the results of the JCPOA have been anything but furthering peace and stability in the Middle East.
- In Lebanon, Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy militia group, has expanded its clout thanks to increased support from the Iranian regime and is providing ground forces for the Iranian regime’s violent war in Syria.
- Meanwhile, the IRGC is also sending troops prop up the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, which Pompeo described as “71 thousand square miles of kill zone.” In addition to the hundreds of thousands of civilians who have lost their lives in the past seven years, five million Syrians have been driven from their country and are seeking refuge abroad.
- In Iraq, the Iranian regime has sponsored militia groups that have infiltrated Iraq’s security forces and are jeopardizing Iraq’s sovereignty.
- In Yemen, the regime’s continued support for the Houthi militias is prolonging a war that is starving the people of the country. The IRGC is also giving the Houthis missiles to target civilians and neighboring countries.
- In Afghanistan, the Iranian regime is supporting the Taliban with funds and weapons and is threatening peace and stability in the country.
- The IRGC Quds force is conducting covert assassination operations in the heart of Europe.
- The Iranian regime continues to hold foreign citizens hostages.
- The Iranian regime continues to be the largest state-sponsor of terrorism in the world.
“All of this has happened during the JCPOA,” Pompeo said. “The bet that the JCPOA would increase Middle East stability was a bad one for America, for Europe, for the Middle East and the entire world. It is clear that the JCPOA has not ended Iran’s nuclear ambitions, nor has it deterred its quest for regional hegemony.”
The policy to contain the Iranian regime
The U.S. will work with allies to counter the Iranian regime’s export and funding of terrorism and will prevent the regime from ever obtaining nuclear weapons, Pompeo stipulated in his speech.
Part of this policy will be unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime: The Department of Treasury reimposed previously suspended sanctions after President Trump declared the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal. Subsequently, new sanctions were imposed on the head of the regime’s Central Bank and entities that were funneling money to the Quds Force, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations. “These will end up being the strongest sanctions in history, when we are complete,” Pompeo promised.
Following the sanctions, Pompeo said, the Iranian regime will have to choose between supporting its economy at home or squandering its wealth on foreign conflicts. “It will not have the resources to do both,” Pompeo said.
The regime is already under pressure from continuous protests across the country caused by poverty, unemployment and corruption in government institutions.
The U.S. will also work with allies to deter the Iranian regime’s aggression in neighboring countries, Pompeo stated. This includes the regime’s operations in the waters of the region and its cyber activities against other nation states. The U.S. will also be tracking and targeting the regime’s operatives, including those of Hezbollah, across the world. “Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo also said that the U.S. government will advocate for the Iranian people. “The regime must improve how it treats its citizens,” he said in his address. Referring to recent protests that shook the entire country, Pompeo said that the Iranian people are deeply frustrated with their government’s failures. Testament to the fact unpaid wages of workers, daily strikes, record unemployment and the plummeting of the nation’s currency.
“These problems are compounded by enormous corruption inside Iran,” Pompeo said, “and the Iranian people can smell it.”
The people are also disenchanted with the regime’s expenditures on foreign intervention, Pompeo said. During recent protests, the protesters chanted slogans against the regime’s meddling in neighboring countries, including, “Leave Syria, think about us” and “Not Gaza, not Lebanon, my life for Iran.”
Emphasizing on the repressive measures that the regime has imposed on its own people, the secretary said "Iranian people would not abide by the rigid rules of tyrants forever. For two generation the Iranian regime has exerted a heavy toll on its own people and the world. The hard grips of repression is all that millions of Iranians have ever known."
"As for the United States, our eyes are clear to the nature or this regime. Our ears are open to what may be possible. Unlike the previous administration, we are looking for outcome that benefits the Iranian people not just the regime" Pompeo added.
“This is on top of a well-documented terror and torture that the regime has inflicted for decades on those who dissent from the regime’s ideology,” Pompeo said. As an example, in the summer of 1988, the regime executed 30 thousand political prisoners simply because they denied to repent their opposition to the regime.
Requirements from the Iranian regime
Pompeo said that the U.S. is willing to engage in new negotiations with the Iranian regime only if it is willing to make major changes. Any new agreement will have to make sure the regime doesn’t acquire nuclear weapons and also address its malign behavior in the region. “The Iranian wave of destruction in the region in just the last few years is proof that Iran’s nuclear aspirations cannot be separated from the overall security picture,” Pompeo said. Pompeo next laid out a set of requirements that the Iranian regime must meet:
- The regime must come clean of all previous nuclear activities and disclose full account of the military dimensions of its nuclear program. It must also abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions in perpetuity.
- The regime must stop uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing. It must also close its heavy water reactor at Arak.
- The Iranian regime must provide the IAEA full access to all its sites throughout the country.
- Tehran must stop its ballistic missile development and the launching of ballistic missiles.
- The release of all foreign citizens held hostage by the regime.
- The Iranian regime must end its support for terrorist groups in the Middle East.
- Respect for the sovereignty of Iraq and the disbanding of its proxy militia in the country.
- End of support for the Houthi militias.
- The regime must withdraw all forces under its command from Syria.
- End of support for Taliban and other terrorists in the region. The regime must also cease providing shelter to the leaders of Al-Qaeda.
- The regime must end the IRGC Quds forces support for terrorism across the globe.
- The regime must end its threatening behavior against its neighbors.
“These are twelve very basic requirements,” Pompeo said, explaining that the length of the list is simply the scope of the malign behavior of the Iranian regime. “We didn’t create the list—they did.”
“We’re not asking anything other than Iranian behavior be consistent with global norms widely recognized before the JCPOA,” Pompeo said.
“The regime reaps a harvest of suffering in the Middle East at the expense of its citizens,” Pompeo said, adding that the Iranian people will not abide by the rigid rules of tyrants forever. “Unlike the previous administration, we’re looking for outcomes that benefit the Iranian people, not just the regime.”
Secretary Pompeo concluded his remarks by saying that at the end of the day the Iranian people would get to make the choice about their leadership. "If they make that decision quickly, that would be wonderful, and if not, we will stay at the heart of this until we achieve the outcome that I set forth today" the secretary added.