Pompeo urges Europe to take action on Iran

Secretary of State urges European powers to get behind American measures to cut Iran off from world energy markets.

Elad Benari ,

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday urged European powers to get behind American measures to cut Iran off from world energy markets, AFP reported.

His comments came during talks with European leaders in Brussels, on the sidelines of the NATO summit.

Pompeo joined Energy Secretary Rick Perry and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini at the EU-U.S. energy council.

Pompeo made no statement going into the talks, but his Twitter account showed what was on his mind.

"Iran continues to send weapons across the Middle East, in blatant violation of UN Security Council resolutions," he wrote.

"Iran's regime wants to start trouble wherever it can. It's our responsibility to stop it."

Then, just before the talks started, he added, "We ask our allies and partners to join our economic pressure campaign against Iran's regime. We must cut off all funding the regime uses to fund terrorism and proxy wars.”

"There's no telling when Iran may try to foment terrorism, violence and instability in one of our countries next," warned Pompeo.

Alongside the tweet he posted a map of Europe purporting to show the locations of 11 "terror attacks" U.S. officials believe Iran or its proxy Hezbollah have carried out since 1979.

In May, U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 deal under which sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs to its nuclear program. Washington has since told countries they must stop buying Iranian oil from November 4 or face financial measures.

The European signatories to the deal, however, did not agree with Trump’s move and are trying to save the accord, which they see as crucial to forestalling an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Tehran has demanded that Europe come up with an economic package to offset the effects of the U.S. withdrawal but so far has found Europe’s proposals to be unsatisfactory.

Earlier this week, Iranian vice president Eshaq Jahangiri said that U.S. sanctions would hurt the economy but also promised to “sell as much oil as we can” and protect Iran’s banking system.

He added that it would be a mistake to think the U.S. “economic war” against Iran will have no impact, but also stressed: “We will make Americans understand this year that they cannot stop Iranian oil sales.”