Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Pompeo's 12-point ultimatrum to Iran

US Lays Out 12 Demands For A New Nuclear Deal With Iran

21 May, 2018

The Trump administration escalated its demands on Iran on Monday while giving Tehran a possible loophole if it wants the US to return to the nuclear deal which President Trump unilaterally cancelled last month, laying out a list of demands that Iran has to satisfy for the deal to be restored, including a stop to all uranium enrichment and halt to Iran's support for militant groups in the region.

The administration’s demands were outlined in a speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which for the first time spelled out all of the administration’s requirements for a new agreement. Pompeo laid out an onerous list of 12 "basic requirements" on Iran which toughened the nuclear demands and called for a wholesale change to Iran’s military posture in the region, that he says should be included.


Among the demands listed by Pompeo was that Iran must "stop enrichment" of uranium and never pre-process plutonium. Iran must also allow nuclear "unqualified access to all sites throughout the country."

Pompeo also demanded that Iran must withdraw all of its forces from Syria, end its support for militant groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, stop sending arms to the Houthi militia in Yemen, release all U.S. citizens, and cease its threats to destroy Israel.

Some of the requests were a bit more... bizarre:
Pompeo calls on Iran to rejoin the “League of Nations” (which existed from 1920-1946)

As the WSJ notes, the 12 asks mark a fundamental change from the 2015 agreement between Iran and six world powers that President Donald Trump abandoned earlier this month but which European leaders have sought to preserve. That agreement allowed Iran to enrich uranium under detailed arrangements in return for sanctions relief.

Still, while the secretary of state said that the administration wouldn’t try to renegotiate the old Iran deal. Instead, he did just that by outlining the 12 basic requirements for the new deal.
Relief from sanctions will come only when we see tangible, demonstrated, and sustained shifts in Tehran’s policies,” Mr. Pompeo said in prepared remarks. “We acknowledge Iran’s right to defend its people. But not its actions which jeopardize the world’s citizens.”
Pompeo said the demands were needed because of the broad nature of what he called Iran’s malign behavior. The U.S., he said, didn’t create the need for the demands, Iran did.

That said, it's unlikely Iran will comply: critics say that the new approach is nonnegotiable and won’t garner strong support in Moscow, Beijing or European capitals.
It’s a pipe-dream to believe the administration could achieve its wish-list of unrealistically ambitious negotiating objectives,” said Robert J. Einhorn, a former State Department official who was involved in Iran negotiations during the Obama administration.
Einhorn said the Trump administration’s new sanctions wouldn’t be as effective as the ones that the Obama administration was able to put in place with the support of U.S. allies and other nations.

Failing to reach an agreement on renegotiation, Pompeo threatened that the US would impose the "strongest sanctions in history" on Iran if the country failed to enter into a new nuclear deal on American terms




Sec. of State Pompeo vows to hit Iran with “strongest sanctions in history” if its government does not change course.

We are confident that China, Russia and Europe are just waiting for this to happen so they can provide Iran with all the goods and services the nation may need now that it has been blacklisted by the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel.


Checking Pompeo's Iran ultimatum: Who did more to turn Syria into terror-exporting 'kill zone'

Checking Pompeo's Iran ultimatum: Who did more to turn Syria into terror-exporting 'kill zone'

Pull out of Syria? Bare all to IAEA? Why 12-point US list for Tehran is ‘ultimatum’ meant to fail


Pull out of Syria? Bare all to IAEA? Why 12-point US list for Tehran is ‘ultimatum’ meant to fail

The US has laid out 12 demands for Iran that it says Tehran must meet for a new nuclear deal. Problem is, telling Iranian troops out of Syria and dictating what nuclear watchdog inspects doesn’t sound like a real roadmap for peace
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the White House’s stance crystal clear Monday, calling the nuclear agreement between Tehran and six world powers a “loser.” President Donald Trump has already pulled the US out of the landmark deal earlier this month. A new deal should be drawn up, Pompeo asserted, while laying out 12 “basic requirements.” Many of those were predictable, such as requiring Tehran to “stop enrichment of uranium and never preprocess plutonium” – because obviously, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is not good enough to hold Iran to its word.

One major point used as a bargaining chip is, however, entirely unrelated to the Iranian nuclear program. It reads: “Iran must withdraw all forces under Iranian command from Syria.”

The demand conveniently ignores the fact that Iranian troops were invited by the Syrian government and have been helping fight Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) on the ground – while the US troops, stuck in Syria indefinitely, were not. “Nobody invited them there,”Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said in February, reminding the world that their presence was illegal. It’s not hard to guess which forces the Syrian government wants to keep and which it wants to be gone, as it battles the remaining pockets of Islamist militants.

Another US demand is that Iran must “respect the sovereignty of the Iraq government and permit the disarming, demobilization, and reintegration of Shia militias.” Just as in Syria, Iranian troops are in Iraq with the approval of Baghdad, and the country’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) even receive funding and training from Iran and  have been declared part of Iraq’s security apparatus. So why would Iranian troops suddenly need to disband and leave?

Then there’s the fact that the US seems to believe it’s perfectly fine to try to establish a new deal which abides by 12 demands designed by Washington – despite Washington being the sole party to withdraw from the original deal. The other signatories – the UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia – are still committed to the 2015 JCPOA.


Although the IAEA, tasked with inspecting Iran’s compliance under the deal, has repeatedly stated that Tehran is implementing its commitments, the US apparently distrusts international watchdog’s expertise. That’s according to the list of demands saying how the Iranian nuclear program should be inspected.

First, Iran must declare to the IAEA a full account of the prior military dimensions of its nuclear program, and permanently and verifiably abandon such work in perpetuity. Second, Iran must stop enrichment and never pursue plutonium reprocessing. This includes closing its heavy water reactor. Third, Iran must also provide the IAEA with unqualified access to all sites throughout the entire country,”boomedPompeo, speaking Monday at the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing Washington think tank.

One may almost forget the IAEA is not a lapdog of Washington, but an international body. Why the US now gets to decide the scope and methods of its work is unclear.

Of course, there is also a whole array of demands to scale back Iranian military programs and alleged support of militant groups. US accuses Iran of sponsoring terrorism, including by helping the Palestinian group Hamas and even, allegedly, Taliban and Al-Qaeda. That these groups are overwhelmingly Sunni while the Iranian government in Shia is overlooked, by accident or deliberately.
The mentioned “threatening behavior against its neighbors,” the “firing of missiles” and “destructive cyberattacks” strangely mirror Washington’s own actions in the region, including some that have been aimed against Iran.

Crucially, there’s little doubt that the Trump administration understands Iran would outright reject most, if not all, of the listed demands, which brings the purpose of the entire list into question.

Secretary Pompeo’s speech has not demonstrated how walking away from the JCPOA has made or will make the region safer from the threat of nuclear proliferation, or how it puts us in a better position to influence Iran’s conduct in areas outside the scope of JCPOA. There is no alternative to the JCPOA,” EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said Monday commenting on Pompeo’s list. Others said the US list was outright destined to fail – on purpose.


I think ultimatum is the right word… When you deliver an ultimatum, its purpose is to have it rejected,” former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT. “There are people in the Trump administration, who want the regime change in Iran – it’s that simple, and they want Iran to reject their terms.”

Jatras believes it’s too early to tell at this stage if US threats against Iran are merely “noise” and pressure tactics like the one used against North Korea, but he says even that pressure could backfire and serve as a positive effect for Tehran by“forcing the Europeans to pull even farther away from the US than they have.” The worst case scenario, he says, is Washington proceeding with a unilateral military action aimed at regime change.


As you can imagine, Iran will not agree to any of Washington’s demands,” Hamed Mousavi, professor of political science at the University of Tehran, told RT. “It is Iran that should be asking the US why it has not fulfilled its side of the agreement when Iran has fully complied with its obligations under the nuclear deal. Why should Iran negotiate with an administration that is not abiding by an international agreement that is the result of years of intense diplomacy?”

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