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Pompeo Seeks Allies' Help In Pushing Iran Back To Negotiation Table

Brian Hook, Director of Policy Planning, U.S. Department of State, speaks at The 2017 Concordia Annual Summit at Grand Hyatt New York in New York, September 19, 2017

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is preparing a "diplomatic road map" on Iran that will call for European and other allies to help force Tehran back to the negotiating table after President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal, a U.S. official says.

Brian Hook, a senior U.S. policy adviser, told reporters on May 18 that Pompeo will call for broad support to address "the totality of Iran's threats" during his first foreign-policy speech, scheduled for May 21.

He added U.S. officials hope renewed economic pressure will lead Tehran to return to negotiations, as it did leading up to the 2015 nuclear accord, which provided Iran with relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

"The goal of our effort is to bring all necessary pressure to bear on Iran to change its behavior and to pursue a new framework that can resolve our concerns," Hook told reporters.

"We very much want to be, to have, a kind of up-tempo diplomacy, one that's very focused and very determined to achieve our national security objectives. We need a new...framework that's going to address the totality of Iran threats," Hook added.

Trump on May 8 pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal, complaining that it was not tough enough on Iran and that Tehran was violating the spirit of the deal by continuing to test ballistic missiles and support extremists in the region.

Hook said the United States is seeking "a range of things around its nuclear program, missiles, proliferating missiles and missile technology and support for terrorists and its aggressive and violent activities that fuel civil wars in Syria and Yemen."

Iran has insisted that its nuclear program is for civilian purposes and denies supporting militants in the Middle East.

France, Germany, Britain, Russia, and China, which also signed the accord, urged Washington to remain in the deal, saying it was the best way to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

The European allies have expressed dismay with Trump’s decision and have vowed to protect their countries’ businesses from the effects of fresh U.S. sanctions on Iran.

However, Hook said the United States and Europe agree more than they disagree and that the U.S. administration sees "an opportunity" to expand cooperation with nations also concerned with Iran’s behavior.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, and dpa