Pompeo's Iran speech is complete fantasy

On Monday morning, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ...

Posted: May 22, 2018 9:46 AM
Updated: May 22, 2018 9:46 AM

On Monday morning, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech at the Heritage Foundation in Washington: "After the Deal: A New Iran Strategy." Over 26 minutes, Pompeo articulated a strategy that can best be summarized as, "Do everything we say, or we will crush you." This speech was the first clear articulation of American Iran policy since President Donald Trump effectively withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (a.k.a. "the Iran deal") on May 12.

Now, self-proclaimed master deal maker President Trump has a new deal in mind for Iran, one that would effectively require Iran to change the very nature of its regime and reverse its core foreign policy principles -- deterring the United States, supporting Shias abroad and overturning the regional order.

The new deal on the table is a dream come true for many globally important figures: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Mohammed Ali Jafari; National Security Advisor John Bolton; and the Mujahideen-e-Khalq cult.

Under this strategy, articulated by Pompeo, the US enacts a new round of crippling sanctions that will have Iran "battling to keep its economy alive." Then Iran peacefully gives into US demands and changes the very nature of its regime.

It's all so easy it's a wonder no previous president thought of it.

Iran just needs to release American hostages, end its ballistic missile program, withdraw from Syria, end support for the Houthis in Yemen, stop its support for Hezbollah and all other terrorist groups and end its "threatening behavior" in the region.

Of course, these are all laudable goals. The United States and the Middle East would be much better off if Iran gave in to America's demands. But foreign policy should be rooted in reality -- not fantasy. Had the US remained in the JCPOA and built up trust with Iran over time, perhaps we could have reached agreements on other issues. But the withdrawal from JCPOA effectively nukes any chances for further agreements with Iran.

The Administration hasn't totally forgotten about the JCPOA. Included in the American demands is that Iran agrees to a nuclear deal that seems very much like the JCPOA. In exchange, the United States will lift sanctions, restore full diplomatic relations with Iran and welcome it back into the community of nations. Hell, it worked with Moammar Gaddafi in Libya. And if you don't believe me, just ask him...

But Pompeo's speech was not only a list of Iran's sins and a litany of demands directed at the Iranian regime, it was also directed at the Iranian people and the domestic situation inside Iran. Pompeo described an Iran rife with unemployment, hopeless youth and a brutal repressive dictatorship bent on suppressing a restive population with intimidation and violence. And in the most bitterly ironic part of the speech, he said that the US stands "in total solidarity" with the same Iranian people the administration has fought so hard to bar from American soil.

The reality is much more complicated than Pompeo claims. It is true that there have been protests over economic conditions, forced hijab and the money spent on Iran's Syrian adventure. Yet the regime has an excellent track record of suppressing protests, and the US has an excellent track record of underestimating regime support.

It is unclear how Pompeo expects this new strategy to succeed. The American sanctions will only be crippling if the rest of the world goes along with them, and while the US may risk the transatlantic relationship in an attempt to force European compliance, it's hard to see the same tactic working on Russia and China.

Pompeo is effectively calling for "self regime-change" in Iran. This will not happen. He has provided no reason why Iran would acquiesce to America's demands. Doing so would only weaken Iran's ability to confront the United States and would require Iran to place greater trust in Washington than did the JCPOA, which the US violated.

Pompeo has succeeded only in providing the Supreme Leader with the evidence he needs to show his people that the US really does mean Iran harm.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 28770

Reported Deaths: 1092
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds224739
DeSoto144216
Madison124234
Jones109149
Neshoba97070
Lauderdale89479
Rankin86012
Forrest82942
Harrison79410
Scott75715
Copiah58016
Leake56519
Jackson55716
Holmes53641
Wayne52212
Lee51816
Oktibbeha51625
Washington5129
Yazoo4786
Leflore47449
Warren46317
Lowndes45912
Lincoln43734
Lamar4317
Grenada3965
Pike39312
Monroe37529
Lafayette3684
Attala35523
Newton3329
Sunflower3216
Covington3175
Bolivar29813
Panola2956
Adams28018
Simpson2713
Chickasaw26418
Tate2648
Marion26311
Pontotoc2616
Jasper2516
Noxubee2478
Pearl River24532
Clay24410
Winston2446
Claiborne23910
Marshall2123
Smith21111
Clarke20424
Coahoma1906
Union1819
Walthall1794
Kemper17614
Yalobusha1667
Lawrence1621
Carroll16111
Humphreys1309
Itawamba1308
Tippah12711
Webster12610
Calhoun1244
Montgomery1242
Hancock12313
Tallahatchie1153
Jefferson Davis1074
Prentiss1003
Greene968
Jefferson963
Wilkinson929
Tunica903
Amite842
George753
Tishomingo731
Choctaw724
Quitman690
Perry634
Alcorn601
Stone541
Franklin392
Benton270
Sharkey270
Issaquena81
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 41362

Reported Deaths: 983
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4532143
Montgomery3875102
Mobile3797134
Tuscaloosa210739
Marshall162210
Lee124537
Shelby110923
Madison11047
Morgan10203
Walker87123
Franklin86314
Dallas8419
Elmore83614
Baldwin7359
Etowah64413
DeKalb6415
Butler60727
Chambers60027
Tallapoosa57269
Autauga55312
Unassigned50724
Russell5030
Lowndes45820
Lauderdale4576
Houston4464
Limestone4290
Cullman4114
Pike4075
Colbert3775
Bullock3649
Coffee3592
Barbour3331
Covington3327
St. Clair3192
Marengo29911
Hale29621
Escambia2936
Wilcox2848
Talladega2827
Calhoun2805
Sumter27912
Clarke2686
Dale2620
Jackson2522
Winston2373
Blount2181
Pickens2176
Chilton2152
Marion20613
Monroe2052
Choctaw19212
Randolph1889
Conecuh1866
Greene1788
Macon1778
Bibb1761
Perry1541
Henry1303
Crenshaw1243
Washington1027
Lawrence1000
Cherokee797
Lamar711
Geneva700
Fayette671
Clay612
Coosa571
Cleburne301
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Few Clouds
93° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 101°
Columbus
Few Clouds
91° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 100°
Oxford
Clear
91° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 98°
Starkville
Overcast
88° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 93°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather