Mike Pompeo forms "Iran Action Group" for post-nuclear deal policy

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani addresses a government meeting in Tehran

"Brian Hook, who has been appointed as special representative and chief of a new Iran Action Group at the State Department, said the US would issue waivers from sanctions to countries that have made efforts to reduce their Iranian oil purchases".

Hook is one of the top policy advisers within the State Department, and before the USA withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal he had been advising the administration to work on getting addendum to the nuclear deal as opposed to withdrawing.

But China repeatedly has said it has no plans to comply with a wave of USA sanctions that are due to be reimposed on Iran's energy sector on November 4. Hook, who has pushed for tough action against Iran, has been leading the department's talks with allies in Europe and Asia to persuade them to support USA sanctions and cut off Iran's oil supplies as of November.

Hook said the U.S. wants to "promote a brighter future for the Iranian people", adding that the "Iran regime has been a force for instability and violence".

"Our new strategy addresses all manifestations of the Iranian threat, and the new Iran Action Group will be focused on implementing that strategy". "But we must see major changes in the regime's behavior both inside and outside its borders".

"Hopefully, the Iran Action Group will strive to empower and better stand with the Iranian people as they contest the clerical regime in Tehran", said Ben Taleblu. "The Iranian people and the world are demanding that Iran finally act like a normal nation".

Calling the accord as an "embarrassment" that was "defective at its core", Trump also warned of severe consequences if Iran resumed its nuclear programme. "The United States certainly hopes for full compliance by all nations.in terms of not risking the threat of USA secondary sanctions if they continue with those transactions". Trump, he noted, "has also said he is prepared to talk" to Iranian leaders without preconditions, an initiative he said was on a "parallel track" to sanctions pressure.

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Pompeo further said that the goal of these sanctions was to get Iran to stop supporting the ill- governance and uprisings in the Middle-East, adding that "enormous change" was required by the Iranian government to break free of the United States sanctions.

CBS News' Kylie Atwood reports that the State Department now faces a November 4th deadline when sanctions will be reimposed on those who are importing Iranian oil. Hook was primarily responsible with forging a strategy for the administration on exiting the nuclear agreement, and is now liaising with USA allies as sanctions once lifted by the deal snap back into effect. "The supreme leader has said negotiations will have to wait in order to soften up America".

Hook declined to list members of what is to be called the Iran Action Group, but said that it would comprise "an elite team of foreign affairs specialists at State and across the administration".

The secretary of state and former Central Intelligence Agency director also accused several members of Iran's leadership, including Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, of participating in widespread corruption.

The IAG will ensure that the Department of State remains closely synchronized with interagency partners, and lead US diplomatic efforts to "galvanize global support for our efforts". Pompeo created a similar group dedicated to working on North Korea policy while he was director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

They said Hook is expected to be replaced in that job by Kiron Skinner, a foreign policy academic who served very briefly on the State Department transition team after President Donald Trump took office.

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