Iranian officer: U.S. secretary of state deserves 'strong punch to the mouth'

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo

"The people of Iran should stand united in the face of this and they will deliver a strong punch to the mouth of the American Secretary of State and anyone who backs them", Ismail Kowsari, a senior commander with Iran's Revolutionary Guards said, according to the Iranian Labour News Agency. Their governments could continue their agreement with Iran, but risk running afoul of US sanctions. US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on May 8 already provoked a barrage of criticism directed at the Iranian president.

Its support for Lebanon's Hezbollah movement is particularly alarming for Israel while Saudi Arabia, another bitter enemy, accuses the Iranians of equipping rebels in Yemen. He said Iran must allow nuclear inspectors "unqualified access to all sites throughout the country", Pompeo said, alluding to military sites that were off-limits under the 2015 deal except under specific circumstances. And there's little sign they want to go along.

He said there would be no victor in a tariff or trade war, adding: "If you fight fire with fire, all you're left with is scorched earth". "It's shocking how they would move forward with a policy announcement that really has no clothes".

Pompeo says Iran must also "release all USA citizens", end support for Houthi rebels in Yemen, "withdraw all forces" from Syria and stop threatening Israel. Along with the US, others in the deal included France, the United Kingdom and Germany.

The prospects for future Iran will be further explored on June 30 at the major rally of the Iranian opposition near Paris, which annually attracts a crowd of over 100,000, including hundreds of supporters from political, academic, and security circles of the USA and Europe, the Middle East, and much of the world. "We've never tried to erect this sort of sanctions regime amid a really sharp strategic divergence with our closest allies". It would need to accept broader constraints not just on its nuclear activities but also on its missile programme and wider behaviour in the region. "The Iranian wave of destruction in the region in just the last few years is proof that Iran's nuclear aspirations can not be separated from the overall security picture", he added.

"Iran must withdraw all forces under Iranian command throughout the entirety of Syria". It's Pompeo's first major policy speech since starting as top USA diplomat.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday he will travel to Washington to meet with Pompeo to discuss Washington's stance on the global nuclear deal with Iran. Pompeo said that the long list of demands was Iran's fault, and that crippling sanctions would bring them back to the negotiating table.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that "the prospect of a new jumbo Iran treaty is going to be very, very hard".

Germany also expressed its resolve to uphold the accord in the face of the USA withdrawal.

He said the Trump administration would not renegotiate the 2015 nuclear accord. "The Europeans are on the right track and it's worth every drop of sweat to maintain the agreement".

Britain's foreign secretary Boris Johnson, German foreign minister Heiko Maas and French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian take part in meeting with Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Brussels, Belgium, May 15, 2018. President Hassan Rouhani said the secretary of state's ideas were "in no way acceptable".

But then the Trump administration has repeatedly shown it will hurt both friend and foe, and ignore the larger geopolitical picture, in pursuit of disruptive policies.

"Iranians shouldn't play into the challenges and US radicalism", Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh told the Iranian Students News agency. "At the end of the day, the Iranian people will put a time line" on their government, he said. He's laying out the Trump administration's strategy for ramping up pressure on Iran in hopes of securing a better deal.

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