The European Union and Iran are attempting to work out the details for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to continue, even as the United States outlines a new aggressive policy against the Iranian regime. The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also demanded that Iran withdraw from Syria, as well as end its support for key military groups in the region, including Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad.
Pompeo also listed several additional demands to the regime, which included Iran’s nuclear aspirations not being separated from the overall security threat that Iran brings to the region; that the regime provides access to all nuclear sites throughout the country, even military ones; and that they never pursue plutonium reprocessing.
The new U.S. policy seems to be focused on putting Iran in a position where they have to stop meddling in the region, as well as ending its threatening behavior toward its neighbors. While it appears that the Trump policy and its 12 points for Iran, Pompeo believes that U.S. allies will warm up to its stance over time.
“America’s commitment to the strategy President Trump put down last year remains, and it will now be executed outside of the JCPOA. We will ensure Iran has no path to a nuclear weapon, not now, not ever,” said Pompeo. “We will apply unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime. New sanctions are coming.”
Pompeo also indicated that the U.S. is prepared to make it painful for the mullahs and their regime if they do not change their course. With the introduction of new sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department against persons with ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). One of those targeted includes the head of Iran’s central bank. That bank supports a variety of organizations, including the IRGC, Quds Force, and Hezbollah.
“I don’t think they want a war because war is very expensive and dangerous in this strategic area…What they want is to weaken Iran financially, economically, with the hope that the Iranian government will not be that powerful in the area as it is now,” said Dr. Said Sadik, Professor of Political Sociology at the American University of Cairo. He noted that the U.S. plan seemed to be focused on determining how much economic and regional power they have and whether the pressure of sanctions will be enough to cause unrest in Iran to the point that the regime could no longer exert influence in the region or afford to help its allies.
The increasing pressure on the regime is based in part on the increase of protests in Iran. These demonstrations and protests are on the rise, particularly since the beginning of 2018. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), noted that this current Iranian calendar year would be one of the uprisings, leading to a victory over the regime. The NCRI is a coalition of the pro-democratic Iranian resistance groups, which are led by the PMOI/MEK.
On June 30, the NCRI and its supporters, along with leaders from around the globe, will meet to discuss regime change and its benefits for the Iranian people, as well as the impact of a democratic Iran in the region. The new U.S. policy could be the next step to move toward regime change and a non-nuclear Iran.