U.S. threatens 'strongest' sanctions on Iran, seeks sweeping change

U.S. threatens 'strongest' sanctions on Iran, seeks sweeping changeBy Lesley Wroughton WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday threatened to impose the “strongest sanctions in history” against Iran if it did not accept a sweeping series of U.S. demands, including effectively giving up its nuclear ambitions, curtailing its ballistic missile program and ending its expansionist behavior. Weeks after the United States pulled out of an international nuclear deal with Iran, Pompeo spelled out a hardline approach towards the Islamic Republic, potentially setting Washington and Tehran on a deeper confrontation course. “The sting of sanctions will only grow more painful if the regime does not change course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen for itself and the people of Iran,” Pompeo said in his first major foreign policy speech since becoming secretary of state.


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Pompeo Threatens 'Strongest Sanctions in History' on Iran, Lays Out US Demands

  1. Pompeo Threatens ‘Strongest Sanctions in History’ on Iran, Lays Out US Demands  Bloomberg
  2. US vows ‘strongest sanctions in history’ on Iran  BBC News
  3. WATCH LIVE: US Sec. of State Pompeo on US-Iran policy  The Jerusalem Post
  4. Lifting Trump’s Playbook Is Risky for Europe  Wall Street Journal
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Mike Pompeo threatens 'strongest sanctions in history' and vows to 'crush' Iranian proxies

Mike Pompeo threatens 'strongest sanctions in history' and vows to 'crush' Iranian proxiesMike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, threatened Iran with the “strongest sanctions in history” and vowed to “crush” the regime’s proxies around the world. Mr Pompeo also called for a new nuclear treaty with Iran to replace the Obama-era deal that Donald Trump withdrew from earlier this month. But the top US diplomat issued a list of  12 requirements for such a deal, many of which Iran would be unlikely to agree to. He said the US would apply “unprecedented financial pressure” on Iran and send teams of specialists to allies around the world to explain US policy. Mr Pompeo said if Iran makes “major changes” the US was willing to lift all sanctions. Delivering his first major foreign policy speech since taking the job, Mr Pompeo doubled down on the United States’ decision to quit the agreement earlier this month.  He framed the 2015 deal as allowing Iran to increase its malign influence across the Middle East on the back of funding from renewed trade with the West. Mr Pompeo accused the Iranian regime of “playing with house money that has become blood money”. And he told the regime: “Understand your current activities will be met with steely resolve”. He added: “The Obama administration made a bet.  That bet was a loser with massive repercussions. “The bet was a bad one for the US, for Europe, and for the world. Iran’s leaders saw it as a starting gun for the march across the Middle East.” He added: “We will track down Iranian operatives and their proxies around the world and we will crush them.” Mr Pompeo called for a new treaty with Iran, ratified by Congress, that ends enrichment and gives inspectors access . He said Iran must “stop enrichment” of uranium and never preprocess plutonium. Iran must also allow nuclear “unqualified access to all sites throughout the country.” Mr Pompeo says Iran must also release all US citizens, end support for Houthi rebels in Yemen, withdraw all forces from Syria and stop threatening Israel. He urged other nations to join America in reimposing economic sanctions on the regime in a bid to bring it back to the negotiating table.  The speech comes with America at loggerheads with its closest allies after Donald Trump finally made good his threat to pull the US out of the Iran nuclear deal.  The agreement, struck by his predecessor Barack Obama, agreed to waive economic sanctions in turn for Iran giving up much of its nuclear programme.  Other signatories of the deal – Britain, France, Germany, the European Union, China, Russia and Iran – have said they will try to keep the agreement alive.  However its future remains in the balance, with Iran saying it will only keep to the agreement if the economic benefits gained from the agreement remain in placed.  American allies have been clamouring for the Trump administration to explain its ‘Plan B’ approach to Iran after unilaterally quitting the deal.  Mr Trump, the US President, and his officials have called for a wider deal that addresses Iran’s ballistic missile programme and regional adventurism as well as its nuclear ambitions.  However it remains unclear how they hope to strike the new deal, given it would need Iran to come back to the negotiating table.  Speaking in Washington on Monday, Mr Pompeo is expected to repeat Mr Trump’s view that ramping up the economic pressure on the regime will convince it to enter new talks.  A senior State Department official outlined the message in a comment to the US political website Axios.  “We are welcoming ALL nations to join us in pushing back against Iran — our sanctions regime and our broader efforts welcome the participation of all countries,” the official was quoted as saying.  “Certainly includes our allies in the Arab world, our European and Asian allies. Iran’s threats extend globally, the response to their malign behavior should match that.” Another source with knowledge of the speech was quoted saying Mr Pompeo would warn Iran “advanced its march across the Middle East” with “wealth created by the West” thanks to the nuclear agreement.  Much of the effectiveness of the Trump administration’s reimposition of sanctions depends on European businesses cutting economic ties with Iran.  Firms in the EU have taken much more advantage of the 2015 waiving of sanctions to sign contracts increasing business in Iran than those in America.  The EU exported over €10.8 billion (£9.4 billion) worth of goods to Iran in 2017, half of which was made up by machinery and transport. That is up from €6.5 billion (£5.7 billion) in 2015.  Senior Trump administration officials have threatened to impose ‘secondary sanctions’ on European businesses if they refuse to cancel their contracts. In return the EU has moved to reimpose a “blocking statue” originally meant to circumvent a the US embargo against Cuba in the 1990s that would protect European businesses. 


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Hawaii reports first serious injury from volcano as lava threatens escape routes

Hawaii reports first serious injury from volcano as lava threatens escape routesBy Terray Sylvester PAHOA, Hawaii (Reuters) – A stream of lava threatened to block a key Hawaii highway on Saturday that serves as an escape route for coastal residents, while the first known serious injury was reported from fresh explosive eruptions from the Kilauea volcano. “A homeowner on Noni Farms Road who was sitting on a third-floor balcony got hit with lava spatter,” said Janet Snyder, a spokesperson for the Office of the Mayor, County of Hawaii. “It hit him on the shin and shattered everything there down on his leg,” she said, adding that lava spatters “can weigh as much as a refrigerator and even small pieces of spatter can kill.” No other information was immediately available.


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New York lawyer threatens to report Spanish-speaking staff to authorities

  1. New York lawyer threatens to report Spanish-speaking staff to authorities  BBC News
  2. Jerk Videotaped Threatening To Call ICE On Two Women Speaking Spanish TO EACH OTHER — Obviously He’s A …  Above the Law
  3. Aaron Schlossberg Calls Stranger An ‘Ugly F—king Foreigner’ In New Video  Forward
  4. Fundraiser by Mark Goldberg : Mariachis For Aaron Schlossberg – GoFundMe  GoFundMe
  5. SEE IT: White man threatens to call ICE on Spanish-speaking workers at Midtown Fresh Kitchen  New York Daily News
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Man Threatens Spanish-Speaking Workers: 'My Next Call Will Be to ICE'

  1. Man Threatens Spanish-Speaking Workers: ‘My Next Call Will Be to ICE’  New York Times
  2. Jerk Videotaped Threatening To Call ICE On Two Women Speaking Spanish TO EACH OTHER — Obviously He’s A …  Above the Law
  3. White man rants about Spanish-speaking workers in Fresh Kitchen  AOL
  4. SEE IT: White man threatens to call ICE on Spanish-speaking workers at Midtown Fresh Kitchen  New York Daily News
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North Korea threatens to cancel summit with Trump; White House insists the meeting is still on

  1. North Korea threatens to cancel summit with Trump; White House insists the meeting is still on  Los Angeles Times
  2. Meet Kim Jong Un, the Korean GOAT  The Hill
  3. North Korea is dismantling its nuclear site, but is it abandoning its arsenal or hiding evidence?  Reuters
  4. Americans Support Talks With North Korea, Remain Skeptical of Outcome  Voice of America (blog)
  5. On North Korea, Trump is getting played by both sides  Washington Post
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North Korea threatens to cancel Trump-Kim summit over drills

  1. North Korea threatens to cancel Trump-Kim summit over drills  Washington Post
  2. The Trump-Kim Jong Un summit looks like it’s on thin ice as North Korea flips on the US  Business Insider
  3. Why Negotiating With North Korea Was Never Going to Be Easy  TIME
  4. Americans Support Talks With North Korea, Remain Skeptical of Outcome  Voice of America (blog)
  5. Ghitis: North Korea is testing Trump  CNN
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North Korea threatens to cancel Trump summit over US nuke demands

  1. North Korea threatens to cancel Trump summit over US nuke demands  CNN
  2. N. Korea threatens to pull out of Trump-Kim summit over denuclearization demands  Politico
  3. North Korea threatens to cancel Trump summit  BBC News
  4. Americans Support Talks With North Korea, Remain Skeptical of Outcome  Voice of America (blog)
  5. North Korea expands threat to cancel Trump-Kim summit, saying it will reconsider if US demands country give up nukes  Washington Post
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