Even though the coronavirus pandemic has taken a heavy toll on Iran, the Islamic Republic’s government has continued to ramp up its nuclear capabilities, rather than focus on the immediate needs of Iranians.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Wednesday that he was giving the Iranian government 60 days to wind down its nuclear operations.

“I am ending the sanctions waiver for JCPOA-related projects in Iran, effective in 60 days,” Sec. Pompeo revealed Wednesday. “Iran’s continued nuclear escalation makes clear this cooperation must end. Further attempts at nuclear extortion will only bring greater pressure on the regime.”

The State Department also accused Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of rejecting an offer from the U.S. for humanitarian aid.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denied this claim. “American leaders are lying,” he said. “If they want to help Iran, all they need to do is to lift sanctions…Then we can deal with the coronavirus outbreak.”

Iran has a “rainy day” fund to support the well-being of its people, however, the government has continued to redirect that money to its nefarious operations outside the country.

In recent weeks, Khamenei has repeatedly referred to Israel as a “cancer” or “tumor” in speeches and has criticized the U.S. and the West for equipping the Middle East’s lone democratic nation with “various kinds of military and non-military tools of power, even with atomic weapons.”

Khamenei has even threatened to obliterate the Jewish state. “The Zionist regime is a deadly, cancerous growth and a detriment to this region,” he said. “It will undoubtedly be uprooted and destroyed.”

In response to Khamenei’s open threat, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that “whoever threatens Israel with destruction puts himself in similar danger.”

On Wednesday, the same day as Pompeo’s latest sanctions announcement, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) unveiled over 100 missile-launching speedboats to utilize against the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf.

On April 22, President Donald Trump announced in a tweet that he has “instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.”

Pompeo also announced Wednesday that he will be “sanctioning two leaders of Iran’s nuclear enrichment program – Majid Agha’i and Amjad Sazgar. Iran’s scientists need to make a choice: pursue peaceful work outside of the proliferation realm, or risk being sanctioned.”
Iran has suspended commitments under the JCPOA since President Trump withdrew from the deal in May 2018.
https://twitter.com/SecPompeo/status/1263795200658419712