Pompeo urges European powers to get tough on Iran

Pompeo urges European powers to get tough on Iran
The US top diplomat urged European countries to join America's economic pressure campaign against Iran.
2 min read
12 July, 2018
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Europe to join US measures against Iran [Getty]

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged European powers to get behind American measures to cut Iran off from world energy markets on Thursday, during talks in Brussels.

Pompeo peeled off from President Donald Trump's NATO summit entourage and joined US Energy Secretary Rick Perry and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini at the EU-US energy council.

"Iran continues to send weapons across the Middle East, in blatant violation of UN Security Council resolutions," he wrote on Twitter, though he made no statement going into the talks.

"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," he warned. 

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

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

Washington dismayed Europe in May when Trump pulled out of the 2015 accord under which Iran agreed to controls on its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

US sanctions have now "snapped back" into place and US officials have begun to hope that the economic pressure is fuelling domestic discontent against the Tehran regime.

European companies are reluctant to resume trade with Iran at the risk of being hit by US secondary sanctions, but the main EU capitals want to protect the accord.

They are thus resisting a US threat to impose sanctions on any entity trading in Iranian oil or dealing with the Iranian central bank after a 4 November deadline.