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Hook Says If There Is Agreement On ‘Range Of Threats’ From Iran, US Will Remove All Sanctions

Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook addresses reporters at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on December 5, 2019.

People of Iran are tired of wasting their national wealth in proxy wars, the U.S. State Department Representative for Iran, Brian Hook said on Tuesday, December 10.

Speaking at a Town Hall meeting at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) in Washington D.C., Hook insisted that the Maximum Pressure Campaign on Iran (MPCI) corresponds with what people of Iran demand.

“The Iranian people want their government to focus on investing in their own people instead of their proxies. They are sick of the regime’s squandering of its own wealth on proxy warfare, which only leads to diplomatic isolation and economic pressure.”

Hook argued that the economic pressure exerted by the U.S. serves the demands of the Iranian people for a major change in the policies of the Islamic Republic.

While calling on Tehran to make the wishes of its people the priority, instead of ideology, Hook said that following the fall of the ISIS Iran has turned into the most significant factor of instability in the Middle East.

Therefore, Hook argued, the U.S. pressure would continue until the regime in Iran would either be transformed into a normal government or watch its economy collapse.

Hook was referring to the Islamic Republic's engagement in wars in Syria and Yemen, accusing Tehran of interfering in the internal affairs of the governments in the region and disrupting peace and stability in the area.

Furthermore, Hook noted that Washington's proposals (to address problems concerning Tehran) are all on the table, while there are also related proposals initiated by Japan, France, Oman, and Pakistan.

However, Hook reminded, Iran has so far dismissed all diplomatic proposals. “Iran continues to reject diplomacy”, he said, adding, “We need the regime to meet our diplomacy with diplomacy” and not with force. Hook then mentioned Iran’s military actions, such as the attack on Saudi oil installations and shooting down a U.S. drone.

“This is the kind of behavior that is consistent with an outlaw regime”, Hook emphasized.

The Islamic Republic Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has repeatedly banned any rapprochement with the U.S., specifically describing negotiation with President Donald Trump’s Administration as "poisonous."

In the meantime, Hook reiterated that the mid-November protests in Iran were the deadliest of its kind in the four-decade-old history of the Islamic Republic.

Once again, Hook said that probably more than 1,000 had fallen victim to the brutal suppression of protests in mid-November, triggered by an overnight three-fold increase in gasoline prices.

In the end of his remarks, Hook said he wants to close “with a positive note”. Quoting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Hook added, “If we can reach a comprehensive agreement with this regime, covering the range of threats that Iran presents…we are prepared to end all American sanctions and restore diplomatic ties”.

Moreover, Hook affirmed that the U.S. Congress is unanimous in condemning the violent crackdown of protesters in Iran. Bipartisan lawmakers in the House introduced a resolution on Tuesday that deplores Tehran's brutal suppression of anti-regime protests but contested the State Department's assessment of the number of Iranians killed in the demonstrations that began last month