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State Department establishes new team to step up pressure on Iran

NHK reported this morning that Secretary of State Pompeo announced at a press conference on Thursday the establishment of a new State Department team called the Iran Action Group as part of a policy of further stepping up pressure on Iran through such means as the suspension of Iranian oil imports. The network said the team will be placed directly under the Secretary and will be in charge of coordinating with other government organizations and relevant nations on U.S. policy toward Iran. According to the network, the Secretary tapped DOS senior policy adviser Brian Hook as the head of the new group and Washington’s special representative for Iran. The network showed the Secretary saying: “We must see major changes in the regime’s behavior both inside and outside of its borders….President Trump is making our Iran strategy a true, multinational undertaking, and the Iran Action Group will be key to further progress in that regard.” The network added that Iran has reacted sharply to the Trump administration’s policy of increasing pressure, saying that there are concerns that tension will rise as a result of the U.S. stepping up the pressure on Iran.

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