U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Iran has to start behaving like what he calls a “normal country” as the U.S. prepares to reimpose sanctions on Tehran.
“This is just about the Iranians’ dissatisfaction with the own government and the president (Trump) is pretty clear. We want the Iranian people to have a strong voice in who their leadership will be,” Pompeo told reporters Sunday.
Starting at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, sanctions against a wide range of Iranian industries come into effect, including traditional Iranian rug exports.
The Iranian government will also no longer be allowed to buy U.S. and European planes and U.S. banknotes.
Sanctions against Iranian energy exports are set to come back into effect in November.
The sanctions that had been lifted are returning after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and five other nations.
The agreement called for Iran to sharply curb its uranium enrichment program in exchange for the end of most sanctions. Trump has called it a terrible deal because he says it gives Iran the opportunity to restart its nuclear program.
Trump has said he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani anytime without preconditions. But with both presidents swapping threats and insults, a meeting seems unlikely.
“We’re hopeful that we can find a way to move forward, but it’s going to require enormous change on the part of the Iranian regime,” Pompeo said.