Last week, the administration decertified the U.S. role in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuke deal.
This week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Iran it would have to take 12 positive steps for the U.S. to consider any new accord. Some of those steps include the total dismantling of Iran’s nuclear program, the end of ballistic missile testing, a complete withdrawal from Syria, and ending its program of Middle East and worldwide terrorism.
The administration added further sanctions against five Iranians who had provided expertise and weaponry to Yemen’s Houthis, who use the technology to threaten U.S. ally Saudi Arabia.
Secretary Pompeo further warned Iran that should it choose to defy American demands, the rogue nation would face the “strongest sanctions in history.”
The U.S., and certainly Israel and regional Arab nations who rightly see Iranian influence as a serious threat, will benefit from strong American action. The posture of the Trump administration in the Middle East was made necessary by previous administrations that looked to appease instead of restrict.
These steps provide measures of security for Israel and other American regional interests. And they once again send a message to Iran that its political and military behavior in the Middle East will not be tolerated now or in the future.
Perhaps Syria and its backer, Russia, will also get that message. Sec. Pompeo is no John Kerry.
And we are grateful for that.