Where will Pompeo’s 12 demands for Iran lead us?

The US secretary of State Mike Pompeo has set out 12 demands for Iran. Do you think it is realistic to base conversation with Tehran on those 12 demands, or not, and do you think that US can find some support for demands among European allies? Read few comments.

Barbara SlavinDirector of the Future of Iran Initiative, Atlantic Council

No these are not realistic demands but just an effort to show that the Trump administration has a ‘Plan B’ after withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. While European countries may agree with some of the demands, they are justifiably angry at Washington for leaving the JCPOA and will continue to insist that the US return to this agreement or at the very least, not impose sanctions on European companies that continue to do business with Iran.

Trump policy of confronting Iran is also undercut by the president’s desire to remove troops from Syria. Economic pressure alone will not change Iranian foreign policy, especially when the sanctions will not be as robust as they were before the JCPOA. US hopes for another revolution in Iran are also far-fetched.

Inderjeet Parmar, Professor in International Politics, City University of London

No those demands are an ultimatum to Iran which no state could accept. It is a programme of regime change. It is a threat to the European powers too as it is likely to increase war danger, refugee flows from the region to Europe, and threaten the only foreign policy diplomatic initiative they’ve ever done as the EU. But US dollar power and market access is massive and it is likely that US withdrawal from the Iran deal will make the agreement unworkable. For it to work, EU would need complete unity including with Russia and China. That’s unlikely. And as the UK goes Brexit then it needs a trade deal with the US.

David MislanAssistant Professor, School of International Service, American University

Pompeo’s 12 demands are quite curious. On one hand, their comprehensiveness might lead to a broader, and necessary, dialogue on the future of the Middle East. From this, a grand bargain is possible that could lead to a more stable region.

On the other hand, it could be an intentionally unrealistic set of demands. Here, the motivation of the Trump administration is key. It could be trying to develop a pretext for war, but I find that unlikely. It could also be pandering to its nationalistic base of supporters, who would rather punish a rival than compromise on a limited set of issues (as Obama did.) I’m not sure what the administration’s true intent is, unfortunately.

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