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Foreign affairs

Pompeo says sanctions are trying to make Iran 'behave like a normal country'

The Trump administration on Monday restored punitive sanctions on Iran that were previously lifted under the terms of the nuclear deal from which President Trump withdrew the United States this year. Additional sanctions will be renewed in coming months, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo indicated they'll be around a while.

"'We're hopeful that we can find a way to move forward, but it's going to require enormous change on the part of the Iranian regime," he told reporters while en route to Southeast Asia. "They've got to behave like a normal country. That's the ask. It's pretty simple."

Pompeo labeled Iranian leadership "bad actors" and said he does not have high hopes Tehran will comply with U.S. demands soon. "Perhaps that will be the path the Iranians choose to go down," he said. "But there's no evidence today of a change in their behavior."

By contrast, the European Union issued a statement objecting to the renewed sanctions and reiterating its commitment to the Iran nuclear deal.