Pompeo: sanctions is pillar of US policy toward Iran

Pompeo: sanctions is pillar of US policy toward Iran

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran will be rigorously enforced and remain in place until the Iranian government radically changes course.

Pompeo said Monday's re-imposition of sanctions is an important pillar in U.S. policy toward Iran. According to him, the Trump administration is open to looking beyond sanctions but that would "require enormous change" from Tehran.

"We're hopeful that we can find a way to move forward but it's going to require enormous change on the part of the Iranian regime. They've got to behave like a normal country. That's the ask. It's pretty simple," The Associated Press cited him as saying.

Pompeo called the Iranian leadership "bad actors" and said U.S. President Donald Trump is intent on getting them to "behave like a normal country.

The Secretary of State stressed that the U.S has long designated Iran as the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism and said it cannot expect to be treated as an equal in the international community until it halts such activities.

"Perhaps that will be the path the Iranians choose to go down. But there's no evidence today of a change in their behavior," he noted.

In the meantime, Pompeo said, "we're going to enforce the sanctions."

A first set of U.S. sanctions that had been eased by the Obama administration under the terms of the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal will take effect again on Monday, following Trump's May decision to withdraw from the accord. Those sanctions target Iran's automotive sector as well as gold and other metals.

A second batch of U.S targeting Iran's oil sector and central bank will be re-imposed in early November.

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