By Kasim Ileri
WASHINGTON (AA) – The U.S. will enforce sanctions against Iran on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
Addressing reporters aboard his plane headed back to Washington from his Asia visit, Pompeo said: "The United States is going to enforce these sanctions."
“It’s [sanctions] an important part of our efforts to push back against Iranian malign activity,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo said the U.S. administration was ready to sit at table with Tehran, which he said would "require enormous change on the part of the Iranian regime."
"They’ve got to behave like a normal country,” he said and called the Iranian administration "bad actors."
Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he was ready to hold talks with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani without preconditions.
In May, Trump withdrew the U.S. from a nuclear deal, which was signed in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany).
The nuclear deal places restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.
During his electoral campaign in 2016, Trump had criticized the agreement, describing it as the “worst deal” he had ever seen.
Other members of the P5+1, however, say the deal in its current form still represents the best means of reigning in Iran's nuclear energy program.
The first round of sanctions, largely targeting Iran's banking sector, are set to take effect Aug. 6. A second, more robust wave of oil-related sanctions is set to snap back Nov. 4.