Hook, reiterated that the US sanctions are not aimed at the economy, but instead, target the regime.
Hook had previously made comments saying that the US did not want to forge a personal agreement with Iran, but rather a treaty. Hook explained that a treaty is more permanent and sustainable as it is negotiated by the president and ratified by the Senate.
“The Iran nuclear deal was not submitted as a treaty to the Senate, because it did not enjoy the support of the Congress.” He told reporters that because former President Barack Obama had a personal agreement with Iran that existed only as long as he was in office, the agreement lost its legal status after President Trump assumed the office. “In our view, any agreement on the nuclear program with Iran should be submitted as a treaty,” he said.
Hook added that any new treaty would cover a range of subjects, not only Tehran’s nuclear activities. “When Iran starts behaving like a normal country, it can enjoy the privileges of a normal country.”
The US envoy called it a mistake to limit the Iranian nuclear deal to cover just the country’s nuclear activities. “When you look at the range of threats that Iran presents, it is much bigger than nukes; it includes missiles of many varieties, maritime aggressions, cyber-attacks, the export of revolution, terrorizing other nations, destabilizing its neighbors, taking hostages, conducting assassinations, bombings and hijackings,” he said, adding, “Over 39 years, it has a very violent record.”
Regarding the question of whether the US Administration has a treaty prepared, and is waiting for discussion with the Iran regime, Hook said, “We have set forth the areas that we would like to talk about with Iran, and a bit part of that is all the areas that have the positive things for the Iranian people.”
The current administration “has stood squarely with the Iranian people from the very first day validating their demands for reform,” according to Hook, “A lot of their reforms are our reforms.”
Even though Iran is receiving support from the European Union within the present nuclear deal, Hook believes that, “The Iranians may not want to go to the negotiating table now, but history shows that Tehran returns to negotiations when pressure grows on it.”
The re-imposition of US sanctions has caused a sharp decline in the volume of foreign investment in Iran especially with regard to bank transfers. Iran is also facing a crisis of inflation and the deterioration of the local currency.
Hook said that economic problems face the regime “because they mismanage their economy, make many bad decisions, and spend a lot of money on violent misadventures around the Middle East.”
He noted, “At a certain point, the Iranian regime has to decide whether the cost-benefit is there. We are prepared to be discussing a great many benefits for Iran, if Iranians chose to adopt a different path.”