U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that the demands he made of Iran in his speech on Monday are not that difficult to implement.
"There aren't a special set of rules that we set forward yesterday for Iran,” he said at the State Department, according to the Washington Examiner. “We simply asked them to behave the way normal, non-belligerent nations behave.”
Pompeo added the U.S. has no choice but to force Iran to make these tough decisions.
"Should we allow them to be terrorists?” Pompeo said in response to dubious questions from reporters. “Is that one we should compromise on?”
“The benchmark I set forward yesterday is a very low standard. It’s the standard behavior we expect from countries all around the world,” he continued.
The Secretary of State further said he is “convinced” the Iranian people will force their government to abandon its provocative behavior in the face of tough U.S. sanctions.
"I'm convinced that the people of Iran, when they can see a path forward which will lead their country to stop behaving in this way, will choose that path,” he stated.
"The Iranian people get to choose,” he said. “The Iranian people get to choose for themselves the kind of leadership they want, the kind of government they want."
In his speech on Monday, Pompeo vowed that Washington would impose unprecedented sanctions against Iran, adding that "Iran will be forced to make a choice: either fight to keep its economy off life support at home, or keep squandering precious wealth in fights abroad. It will not have the resources to do both.”
A senior official in Iran later responded to Pompeo's speech, saying, "The conditions of the United States are meaningless. Iran has no need for anyone's permission to act in the Middle East. Our missile programs will be determined according to Iranian needs.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif ripped the United States following Pompeo’s speech and described its foreign diplomacy as a “sham”.
“U.S. diplomacy sham is merely a regression to old habits: imprisoned by delusions & failed policies—dictated by corrupt Special Interest—it repeats the same wrong choices and will thus reap the same ill rewards. Iran, meanwhile, is working with partners for post-U.S. JCPOA solutions,” tweeted Zarif.