US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded on Wednesday to Iran’s decision to reduce some of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Following Iran’s announcement, US President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on Iran’s iron, steel, aluminum, and copper sectors.
“Today marks one year since President Trump made the historic decision to leave the Iran nuclear deal and embark on a bold new strategy to counter Iran. Our maximum pressure campaign has already achieved historic success,” Pompeo wrote on Twitter.
“Today we build on that success. President Trump signed an executive order targeting Iranian trade in metals, Iran’s third largest export. We will deny the regime the resources it uses to fund terror,” he continued.
“The Iranian regime’s announcement that it intends to expand its nuclear program defies international norms and is a blatant attempt to hold the world hostage. We call on the international community to hold Iran’s regime accountable for its threat to expand its nuclear program,” concluded Pompeo.
Earlier on Wednesday, Brian Hook, the US administration’s special envoy on Iran, said that the Islamic Republic’s announcement was “an attempt to hold the world hostage,” and emphasized that the US would not cave in the face of blackmail attempts related to the nuclear deal.
“We will continue to apply maximum pressure on the regime until its leaders change their behavior. They’ve got to start behaving more like a normal nation, less like a revolutionary cause,” said Hook.
To the question of whether a military option against Iran was on the table in the light of the fact that the US has sent reinforcements to the Gulf, he emphasized, "Any attack on American interests or on our allies will be met with force. If the Iranian regime tries, the American administration will respond."
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, stressed that Israel will prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
“We will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weaponry. We will continue to fight those who would kill us,” Netanyahu said at the Memorial Day ceremony at the central military cemetery on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.