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Pompeo to urge US allies to pressure Iran: Official

Muslim Times(Web DesK) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will use his first foreign policy speech on Monday to call on European and other allies to pressure Iran, according to a senior official.

The State Department’s top policy adviser, Brian Hook, said Friday that the address would be Pompeo’s roadmap to force Iran to negotiate on what he called “the totality of” its threats.

“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,” Hook told reporters.

“We very much want to be, to have a kind of up-tempo diplomacy, one that’s very focused and very determined to achieve our national security objectives,” he said, adding, “We need a new … framework that’s going to address the totality of Iran threats.”

On May 8, President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from Iran’s nuclear deal despite massive efforts by the European allies to convince him to stay in the 2015 agreement.

The president also signed a presidential memorandum to re-impose what he described as the “highest level of sanctions” against Iran and said the US would punish companies and countries that violate those sanctions.

Now, Washington faces an uphill battle to convince European allies to back the new sanctions as European companies could lose billions of dollars in commercial deals struck since the nuclear accord, and lose access to a major new export market.

Meanwhile, the EU has officially activated a 1996 law to protect European companies from the US sanctions.

Despite EU opposition to Trump’s decision, Hook on Friday played down differences between Washington and Europe over Iran.

“We have a period of opportunity to work with our allies to try to come up with a new security architecture, a new framework,” he said, adding, “I think people are overstating the disagreements between the US and Europe.”

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