US State Secretary Mike Pompeo
US State Secretary Mike Pompeo

European countries fully supportive of sanctions: Pompeo

ANI | Updated: Nov 06, 2018 00:56 IST

Washington D. C. [USA], Nov 06 (ANI): United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Monday said that many European countries are fully supportive of the newly-imposed US sanctions on Iran, with a number of European businesses having decided to shun their engagements with Iran.
His comments came in reply to a question, during his presser earlier today, about the reaction of the European countries that were expecting to be among the ones exempted from the sanctions after it was confirmed that only Italy, Greece and Turkey would be exempt from the sanctions in Europe.
"We've been very candid and clear with all of the European countries. There are more than three, we should note. Many of them are fully supportive of what it is that we are undertaking," Pompeo said.
"European businesses have already made their decisions. They've decided not to do business with the Islamic Republic of Iran, and so we're very confident that the sanctions regime that we're putting in place will be effective," the Secretary of State added.
Meanwhile, Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin said that the US expects European nations to honour the sanctions.
"We've said that we expect them to honour the sanctions. There are certain transactions that they can continue to do, whether they're humanitarian transactions or specific trade in the restricted accounts. We will make sure that humanitarian transactions are really going for those purposes," Mnuchin said.
Pompeo then listed out the terror and violence-related activities that Iran is allegedly involved in when asked how Iran's destabilising behaviour differs from the behaviour of Saudi Arabia.
"Underwriting Lebanese Hizballah, that presents a threat to the United States of America and Israel; underwriting the Houthis in Yemen, causing an enormous conflict to take place there in that country; the efforts in Iraq to undermine the Iraqi Government, funding Shia militias that are not in the best interests of the Iraqi people; their efforts in Syria; the list goes on," Pompeo said.
"The difference in behaviour between those two countries is remarkable. Since we've taken office, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been very supportive of our efforts on counterterrorism. They've assisted us. It is completely clear the Islamic Republican of Iran is the destabilising force in the Middle East today," he added.
When questioned if President Donald Trump's Game of Thrones image captioned "Sanctions are Coming" was appropriate, Pompeo asked as to why has Iranian General Qasem Soleimani's reply to Trump's picture not been given coverage.
"Qasem Soleimani responded, and I haven't seen any of you comment on that. This is a man who has American blood on his hands. He's killed American soldiers, and that's not funny. And the actions that the Islamic Republic of Iran are taking are not about little silly things that people get wrapped up here in Washington, D.C., but about very serious matters that impact all of Europe, all the Middle East and the world, and our young men and women who are in harm's way today," he said.
Earlier today, the US imposed new sanctions on Iran's energy, banking and shipping industries, with President Trump saying that the sanctions levied are the strongest ever. (ANI)