The United States has targeted Iran since the Islamic Revolution because Tehran is surpassing Washington’s dominance in the Middle East and increasing its influence in the region, an American political activist says.
“That Iran is a target of this administration is no surprise. It has earned the US’s enmity for as long as it has remained an independent voice and force in the Middle East,” said Myles Hoenig, who ran for the US Congress in 2016 as a Green Party candidate.
“It has its own foreign policy and will possibly in the future rid itself of its ties to the US dollar,” Hoenig said in an interview with Press TV.
On Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington will increase the financial pressure on Iran by imposing the "strongest sanctions in history" on the Islamic Republic if Tehran refuses to change the course of its foreign and domestic policy.
"We will apply unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime. The leaders in Tehran will have no doubt about our seriousness," Pompeo said in his first major foreign policy address since moving to the State Department from the CIA.
Pompeo was confirmed by the Senate on April 26 as the new secretary of state, replacing Rex Tillerson, who was fired by President Donald Trump on March 13.
Speaking weeks after Trump’s move to withdraw from a landmark nuclear agreement Iran signed with major powers in 2015, Pompeo laid out 12 tough conditions for any "new deal" with Tehran.
Experts say Pompeo’s belligerent talk on Iran highlights Washington’s growing concern over America’s declining power in the region.
“Pompeo’s concern is not that [Iran] is destabilizing the region but that it is surpassing the US’s dominance in the region. That is why it is propping up the Israel-Saudi Arabia-US axis. The US is fighting a proxy war with Iran in Syria, and losing,” Hoenig said.
“As world opinion is slowly challenging the blood lust of both Israel and Saudi Arabia, the loss of US influence in Syria grates on the nerves of the powerful military corporate lobbies currying favor in the White House,” he added.
Iran has said it would remain in the nuclear deal known as the JCPOA for now, pending negotiations with the other signatories in the coming weeks before making a final decision on its future role in the agreement. Tehran wants the Europeans to give it clear-cut guarantees about fulfilling their obligations if it remains in the accord.