The United States called on Iran to withdraw all its terrorist militias from Syria and stop its support for the Hezbollah and al-Qaeda militias, threating the Iranian regime with the ‘toughest sanctions in history’ should it not change course.
In his first major policy speech since taking over as the US top diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday slammed the Iranian regime as he vowed the US will aim to “crush” Iran with economic and military pressure unless it changes its behavior in the Middle East.
“We will track down Iranian operatives and their Hezbollah proxies operating around the world and crush them,” Pompeo said. He laid out a list of 12 requirements aimed at addressing Iran’s foreign policies as well as its nuclear and missile programs.
A Syrian Coalition official on Monday said that Iran continued to defy Russia and the international community by insisting on staying in Syria, noting that Iran is now the de facto ruler of the country.
“Iran must withdraw all forces under Iranian command throughout the entirety of Syria,” Pompeo said. He also said that Iran must end support to Middle East terrorist groups, including most notably the Lebanese Hezbollah militia.
“Iran, too, must end support for the Taliban and other terrorists in Afghanistan and the region, and cease harboring senior al-Qaida leaders.”
Pompeo also vowed his country will “apply unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime if it does not change its behavior,” adding that “the Iranian regime should know that this is just the beginning.” He also said that “Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East.”
Included among the demands: Iran must acknowledge past military dimensions of its nuclear program, expand the access given to nuclear inspectors, and effectively end its ballistic missile program. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)