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America’s 12 Demands on Iran for Lifting Sanctions

(May 21, 2018)

On May 21, 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “any new agreement will make sure Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon, and will deter the regime’s malign behavior in a way that the JCPOA never could.” He laid out 12 demands that Iran must meet before the U.S. will lift sanctions and consider the reestablishment of full diplomatic and commercial relationships with Iran:

  1. First, Iran must declare to the IAEA a full account of the prior military dimensions of its nuclear program, and permanently and verifiably abandon such work in perpetuity.
  2. Second, Iran must stop enrichment and never pursue plutonium reprocessing. This includes closing its heavy water reactor.
  3. Third, Iran must also provide the IAEA with unqualified access to all sites throughout the entire country.
  4. Iran must end its proliferation of ballistic missiles and halt further launching or development of nuclear-capable missile systems.
  5. Iran must release all U.S. citizens, as well as citizens of our partners and allies, each of them detained on spurious charges.
  6. Iran must end support to Middle East terrorist groups, including Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
  7. Iran must respect the sovereignty of the Iraqi Government and permit the disarming, demobilization, and reintegration of Shia militias.
  8. Iran must also end its military support for the Houthi militia and work towards a peaceful political settlement in Yemen.
  9. Iran must withdraw all forces under Iranian command throughout the entirety of Syria.
  10. Iran must end support for the Taliban and other terrorists in Afghanistan and the region, and cease harboring senior al-Qaeda leaders.
  11. Iran must end the IRG Qods Force’s support for terrorists and militant partners around the world.
  12. Iran must end its threatening behavior against its neighbors – many of whom are U.S. allies. This certainly includes its threats to destroy Israel, and its firing of missiles into Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It also includes threats to international shipping and destructive – and destructive cyberattacks.

Pompeo acknowledged these terms were tough, but said they were no different than what was expected of Iran prior to signing the JCPOA:

In 2012, President Obama said, quote, “The deal we’ll accept is [that] they end their nuclear program,” end of quote. That didn’t happen. In 2006, the P5 voted at the Security Council for Iran to immediately suspend all enrichment activities. That didn’t happen.

In 2013, the French foreign minister said he was wary of being sucked into a, quote, “con game,” end of quote, over allowing Iran to continue uranium enrichment.

In 2015, John Kerry said, quote, “We don’t recognize the right to enrich,” end of quote. Yet the Iranians are enriching even as we sit here today.

“So we’re not asking anything other than that Iranian behavior be consistent with global norms, global norms widely recognized before the JCPOA. And we want to eliminate their capacity to threaten our world with those nuclear activities” (Remarks at the Heritage Foundation, May 21, 2018).