191119 Pompeo
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a news conference at the State Department in Washington, Monday, Nov. 18, 2019. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that denying Iran money and wealth is the right way to force it to make difficult decisions.

He was speaking during a press conference with his British counterpart Dominic Raab.

On his part, Raab said Iran must be held accountable for its departure from international norms.

“There isn’t a huge difference between Europeans and Americans on Iran on a broader deal,” he said.

The statements came a day after the Trump administration extended sanctions waivers allowing limited work on Iran’s civil nuclear program for another 60 days, according to a report in Bloomberg.

The decision to extend the waivers follows an internal disagreement between Pompeo, who had advocated ending the waivers, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who wanted them extended.

The sanctions are meant to punish Iran for what the U.S. says is Tehran’s recent nuclear proliferation efforts.

Iran had earlier announced it would no longer be bound by uranium enrichment limits imposed by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the nuclear deal President Donald Trump quit in 2018.

Trump has since imposed a raft of sanctions on Iran’s economy but had held off ending the four waivers that allowed other participants in the deal, including China, Russia and the U.K., to cooperate on limited nonproliferation work with Iran.

The decision to extend the waivers for now avoids a confrontation with European nations who argue that the nonproliferation work allows them and the U.S. to keep an eye on Iran’s nuclear program.

-With inputs from Bloomberg