The European Union (E.U.) plan to build a “legal framework” to preserve business with Tehran and evade new U.S. sanctions was met with disbelief and anger from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday.
Mr. Pompeo denounced the Europeans who in turn made clear they would not back down after the plans were made public, as Breitbart Jerusalem reported.
Iran and the E.U. announced their defiance towards U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration after high-level talks at the United Nations ended Monday. E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini delivered the plan while standing alongside Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Mr. Pompeo, addressing a pressure group on the sidelines of annual U.N. meetings, responded by saying he was “disturbed and indeed deeply disappointed” by the EU announcement.
“This is one of the of the most counterproductive measures imaginable for regional and global peace and security,” he said in a speech delivered against a backdrop of protests from anti-war protesters.
“By sustaining revenues to the regime, you are solidifying Iran’s ranking as the number-one state sponsor of terror,” Mr. Pompeo added, observing Iran’s “corrupt ayatollahs” and elite Revolutionary Guards had to be “laughing this morning.”
Meanwhile John Bolton, President Trump’s national security adviser, mocked the E.U. for being light on detail for how its evasion mechanisms will work.
“The European Union is strong on rhetoric and weak on follow-through,” he told the United Against a Nuclear Iran campaign. “We do not intend to allow our sanctions to be evaded by Europe or anybody else.”
Bolton also issued unsubtle warnings to Iran’s leaders: “We are watching, and we will come after you.”
“If you cross us, our allies or our partners, if you harm our citizens, if you continue to lie, cheat and deceive, there will be hell to pay.”
AFP contributed to this report
Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: Follow @SunSimonKent or e-mail to: email@example.com