Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, will begin a tour of the Middle East before the change of Administration in the United States.

Donald Trump wants to keep the pressure on Iran to the end. According to indiscretions from Israel and Washington, the outgoing American president has planned a new series of sanctions against the regime in Tehran. It could be made public next week by Mike Pompeo. The American Secretary of State will make a trip that looks like a farewell tour of the Middle East before the change of Administration in the United States. He will travel to Israel in particular on Wednesday, before being received in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar, countries which have all sent more or less messages of congratulations to the future tenant of the Maison- Blanche after the announcement of his victory. According to a statement from the State Department, it will be a question of discussing with its regional allies “joint efforts to confront Iran's malign behavior”.

The sanctions would not be directly linked to the Iranian nuclear file. They would punish Tehran for its ballistic missile development program, its human rights violations and its support for groups "terrorists". They would concern companies that trade with Tehran in the arms, aviation or communications sectors, but also Iranian individuals and entities. The Trump Administration would like to mark the first anniversary of the most violent crackdown in Iran since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Some 1 demonstrators were killed last November during unrest sparked by a rise in the gasoline prices.

"Maximum Pressure"

Officials implicated in the alleged killing of civilians, government figures and security services would be targeted. “If this is true, it will simply be indicative of the desperation of a hostile Administration“Reacted Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman for the mission of Iran to the United Nations in New York, in a press release to Reuters.

The maneuver of thelame duck" of the White House aims, according to the Israeli media, to make it more difficult to open a dialogue between the future American president and Tehran, by locking Joe Biden in a deep web of coercive measures that he will find difficult to be undone with the stroke of a pen, if that is his will.

In a meeting with reporters in Jerusalem on Monday, Elliot Abrams, the US special representative for Iran, said that "the increase in sanctions is part of a long-term policy" to compel the regime to engage in comprehensive negotiations for a stricter nuclear deal. "We have a maximum pressure program… and this will continue in November and December", did he declare. He admitted that the next president has the right to reverse the policy of his predecessor, but would be hard pressed to see that happen without a significant change in Iranian leadership.

«I don't think going back to the JCPAO (nuclear agreement with Iran, editor's note) in 2021 is a simple prospect", he said. An approach that corresponds to that of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who encouraged and supported Donald Trump in his withdrawal from this agreement. He will now have to deal with an American president who does not share all his convictions. According to Joe Biden, Donald Trump “recklessly tossed a policy that worked to keep America safe and replaced it with a policy that aggravated the threat».

Source: © Israel hopes for a final round of US sanctions against Tehran