US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook has said Iran’s era of deniable attacks is over and that Tehran will be held accountable for the attacks of its proxies
During a special briefing in Brussels on Monday, Hook said the US administration “has put in place an entirely new foreign policy” with respect to the Iranian government.
“They cannot organize, train, and equip their proxies and then expect anyone to believe that they had no role. And so we will not make a distinction between the Iranian Government and its proxies,” Hook said.
“And we are committed to this strategy because it has the best chances of de-escalating the threats that we see stretching from Lebanon to Yemen,” he added.
Ahead of the first anniversary of Washington’s exit from the Iran deal on May 8, the US moved to force Iran’s oil exports to “zero”.
“This is a regime that only understands economic pressure and diplomatic isolation,” Hook described the Iranian regime, adding that the United States is determined to remove all forces under Iranian command and control from Syria.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would “suffer greatly” if it targeted U.S. interests.
“We’ll see what happens with Iran. If they do anything, it will be a very bad mistake,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “If they do anything they will suffer greatly.”
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Hook said he is not worried about potential conflict and that US actions are merely a response to Iranian aggression.
“Iran is still the leading sponsor of terrorism in the world. If they’re behaving this way without a nuclear weapon, imagine how they’ll behave with one.”
Washington has stepped up its military presence in the Middle East in recent days by sending four B-52 bombers to join the Lincoln battle group that was deployed earlier.