U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo deemed Iran as an active threat as it is destabilizing the Middle East and spreading chaos in the region, saying, however, that his country is still ready to negotiate with Tehran.
“Of course we would welcome that call. Of course we want a peaceful diplomatic resolution to each of these conflicts that we’ve talked about here today. That makes perfect sense.” Pompeo said in an interview on CNBC.
“We’ve done all the right things to increase our security posture to the best of our ability, but we also want to make sure that we had deterrent forces in place, so in the event that Iran decided to come after an American interest — whether that be in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Yemen, or any place in the Middle East — we were prepared to respond to them in an appropriate way,” he stated.
“We’re not going to miscalculate: Our aim is not war, our aim is a change in the behavior of the Iranian leadership. We hope the Iranian people will get what they finally want, and what they so richly deserve. The forces that we’re putting in place, the forces that we’ve had in the region before — you know, we often have carriers in the Persian Gulf — but the president wanted to make sure that, in the event something took place, we were prepared to respond to it in an appropriate way,” he stressed.
“In the event that the Iranians make a bad decision, our response will be appropriate,” Pompeo affirmed, without providing a clear statement on what the White House is going to do.
“An attack on American interests from an Iranian-led force, whether it’s an Iranian proper or it’s an entity that is controlled by the Iranians, we will hold the responsible party accountable. President Trump has been very clear about that: Our response will be appropriate.”
“Iran is the major destabilizing influence in the Middle East, and we aim to fix that,” Pompeo emphasized pointing to Tehran’s role in terrorism and the presence of weapons in the Middle East.
“These sanctions are directed at the Iranian leadership to change their behavior — point blank, point blank. The Iranian leadership understands the cost that is being imposed. This is a kleptocratic regime that has stolen billions of dollars and wastes the Iranian people’s own money on these proxy wars all across the world,” the U.S. official explained.
“The Iranian government, while its people are suffering, according to them, is spending money in Venezuela. They’re sending forces to Venezuela. This is not a leadership that reflects what the Iranian people want,” he elaborated, highlighting Hezbollah’s role as an Iranian proxy in Venezuela.