US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday warned Iran would be hit with the “strongest sanctions in history” and cautioned European firms against continuing to do business in Tehran, toughening up Washington's policy line after its withdrawal from the nuclear pact.
In his first major foreign policy address since moving to the State Department from the CIA, the longtime Iran hawk and ardent opponent of the 2015 nuclear pact outlined an aggressive series of moves designed to counter Tehran, which he called the world's top sponsor of terror.
“We will apply unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime. The leaders in Tehran will have no doubt about our seriousness,” Pompeo said in a speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank.
“This sting of sanctions will be painful if the regime does not change its course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen to one that rejoins the League of Nations.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani quickly dismissed the threats, saying the rest of the world no longer accepts Washington making decisions on their behalf.
“Who are you to decide for Iran and the world?” Rouhani said in a statement carried by multiple Iranian news agencies.
“The world today does not accept that the United States decides for the world. Countries have their independence,” he added.