US forms ‘Iran Action Group’ for post-nuclear deal policy

US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo on August 16, 2018 announced the formation of the Iran Action Group (IAG) to coordinate and run the country’s policy towards Iran. The development follows President Donald Trump’s announcement of the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the multinational Iran nuclear deal.

Key Highlights:-

1. The basic aim behind the formation of IAG is to change the Iranian regime’s behavior. The group will ensure that the US Department of State remains closely synchronized with the US interagency partners.
2. Following the announcement of the creation of the group, IAG’s new head Brian Hook stated that Iran’s malign activities were wide-ranging and US’s new strategy was addressing all manifestations of the Iranian threat. In fact, the new Iran Action Group will be focused on implementing that strategy.
3. The IAG will also lead the way in growing efforts with nations that share the same understanding of the Iranian threat as the United States.

On August 13, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in the country’s most important political decisions, ruled out negotiations with the Trump administration. He said that as demonstrated in the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran will only enter into negotiations in the position of strength so that US’s pressures and uproars don’t affect them. Earlier on August 16, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani questioned Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal. He said, “America took some steps that removed the conditions for talks. They destroyed the bridge themselves, and now they are standing on the other side asking ‘how can I cross?’ Why destroy the bridge when you wanted to walk across?”

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