The continuous US-Iran tensions have heightened pressure on both the nations. To mitigate the disruptions, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that he would be willing to travel to Tehran to address the Iranian people about the US foreign policy.
Pompeo, with his visit, wants to minimise the pressure created on Tehran by the Trump administration. Iran’s continuous efforts to renegotiate the nuclear deal with the US severed the diplomatic relations between both the countries. This is because Iran failed to fulfil its promises mentioned under the 2015 nuclear deal. The end of the deal was further followed with renewed US sanctions on Iran.
In June, the tensions aggravated in the Persian Gulf, when Iran downed an American drone and the US came close to launching a retaliatory strike. Observing the rising tensions, Mike Pompeo said, “I’d like a chance to go, not do propaganda but speak the truth to the Iranian people about what it is their leadership has done and how it has harmed Iran.”
In the wake of the tensions, Iran recently test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile Shabaab-3 as a defence tactic amid the threats on its tankers. Though the missile did not possess a threat to the US bases in the region, it did catch the analysts’ attention who expressed concerns over Iran’s move.
Amid the tightened sanctions, Mike Pompeo indicated that the diplomatic talks were the best solution to renegotiate the nuclear deal with Iran. He appreciated Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s way of communicating with the American public during his trips to the US and expressed his own willingness to visit Tehran.
Dismissing claims from Zarif’s name, Pompeo said, “Foreign Minister Zarif is no more in charge of what’s going on in Iran than a man in the moon. At the end of the day, this is driven by the ayatollah. He will be the ultimate decision-maker here.”
Earlier US President Donald Trump also expressed his willingness for open talks with Iran, with the aim of limiting Iran’s nuclear programs by replacing the 2015 nuclear deal with a new one. However, Iran has widely rejected all the deals, unless the Trump administration removes the imposed sanctions that have hit Iran’s economy.
Iran also made substantial offers to the US for lifting the sanctions, by offering to accept enhanced inspections of its nuclear programme, which otherwise was meant to be inspected in 2023. Trump administration’s withdrawal from the nuclear agreement and refusal to extend waivers to eight governments purchasing Iranian oil, worsened the Iranian relations with other countries.
With President Trump’s casual approach towards resolving the situations that have affected the Iranian economy, will Mike Pompeo’s Iran visit be of any help to lighten the tensions between both the countries or will it largely upset the Trump administration?