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Pompeo Urges Iran to Change its ‘Outlaw Course’ or Face Collapse

Pompeo Urges Iran to Change its ‘Outlaw Course’ or Face Collapse

Monday, 5 November, 2018 - 19:00
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Monday Iran to alter its malicious behavior or face further economic collapse.

“The Iranian regime has a choice: it can either do a 180-degree turn from its outlaw course of action and act like a normal country, or it can see its economy crumble,” he told reports as the US reimposed sanctions against Tehran.

“We hope a new agreement with Iran is possible.”

The sanctions are designed, in part, to force Iran’s major customers to stop buying its oil. However, the United States gave temporary exceptions to eight importers - China, India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey and South Korea - allowing them to keep buying from Iran.

The sanctions also cover 50 Iranian banks and subsidiaries, more than 200 persons and vessels in its shipping sector, Tehran’s national airline, Iran Air, and more than 65 of its aircraft, a US Treasury statement said.

The sanctions permit trade in humanitarian goods such as food and pharmaceuticals but measures imposed on banks and trade restrictions could make such items more expensive as well as more difficult to pay for.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Washington is “watching Iran with laser focus.”

The move "should make clear to the Iranian regime that they will face mounting financial isolation and economic stagnation until they fundamentally change their destabilizing behavior,” he added in a statement.

Howard Mendelsohn, a former US Treasury acting assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis, said the sanctions sent a tough message that anyone dealing with Iran will face consequences even if a company or individual is not sanctioned.

“This looks very disruptive,” said Mendelsohn, chief client officer for Kharon, a sanctions data and analytics firm. “It looks like a very serious, very comprehensive action.”

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