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US unveils list of 12 demands for Iran deal

The demands aim to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons “in perpetuity”.

world Updated: May 21, 2018 23:26 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
Donald Trump,Iran nuclear deal,Mike Pompeo
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo speaks at the thinktank Heritage Foundation in Washington on May 21, 2018.(AFP)

The Trump administration on Monday announced a list of 12 demands for inclusion in a nuclear treaty with Iran, in order to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons “in perpetuity”.

The new demands, laid out by secretary of state Mike Pompeo, marked a fundamental departure from the 2015 Join Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which the US exited earlier this month.

“I want the Australians, the Bahrainis, the Egyptians, the Indians, the Japanese, the Jordanians, the Kuwaitis, the Omanis, the Qataris, the Saudi Arabians, South Korea, the UAE, and many, many others worldwide to join in this effort against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Pompeo said in a speech at Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

To allies who signed the JCPOA, he said, “I know our allies in Europe may try to keep the old nuclear deal going with Tehran. That is their decision to make. They know where we stand.”

Under the new demands, Iran must declare the military dimensions of its nuclear programme and “permanently and verifiably abandon such work in perpetuity”, stop uranium enrichment and allow international inspectors “unqualified access to all sites throughout the entire country”.

“We will also ensure Iran has no path to a nuclear weapon – not now, not ever,” Pompeo said.

Tehran will also be required to “halt further launching or development of nuclear-capable missile systems” and end proliferation of ballistic missiles.

The new demands also state that Iran will be required to pull out completely from Syria, end support for Houthi militias in Yemen, the Taliban in Afghanistan, and allow the disarming of Shia militias in Iraq.

The US list also required Iran to cease backing Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Gaza’s Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

“That list is pretty long,” Pompeo acknowledged., “But if you take a look at it, these are 12 very basic requirements. The length of the list is simply a scope of the malign behaviour of Iran. We didn’t create the list, they did.”

To enforce the demands, he said sanctions have begun to be put in place already. “These will end up being the strongest sanctions in history by the time we are complete,” Pompeo said. They go into effect in two phases — in August and in October.

About the proposal for a treaty rather than an agreement, Pompeo said, “A treaty would be our preferred way to go. Unlike the JCPOA, which was broadly rejected across both sides of the aisle, an agreement that President Trump proposes would surely garner this type of widespread support from our elected leaders and the American people.”. This would require it to be ratified, thus, by the US Senate.