Secretary of State Mike Pompeo laid out the long history of Iranian support for terrorism around the world and called upon all nations to hold accountable its “outlaw regime.”
Pompeo, in a September 25 speech in New York, said Iran’s leaders were again seeking to mask brazen violations of the United Nations Charter and Security Council resolutions against providing arms and other support for terrorism.
Pompeo urged “every country to join our efforts to change the regime’s lawless behavior.” He addressed an advocacy group, United Against Nuclear Iran, chaired by former Senator Joseph Lieberman.
The secretary of state made his appeal hours after President Trump, in his address to the annual U.N. General Assembly, accused Iran’s leaders of sowing “chaos, death and destruction” in the Middle East and beyond.
The United States withdrew in May from the Iran nuclear deal and reinstated economic sanctions from before the deal. The other nations that remained in the deal said September 24 they will set up a special payment system for their companies to keep doing business in Iran.
Pompeo called the proposed system “one of the most counterproductive measures imaginable for regional and global peace and security” and “all the more unacceptable, given the litany of Iranian-backed terrorist activity inside of Europe.”
Separately, Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, told reporters that the European Union’s special payment system won’t undermine U.S. sanctions because businesses don’t want to run the risk of being barred from U.S. markets. Already, “major companies from Europe to Asia [are] getting out of Iran,” he said.
“Companies have a choice either to do business in Iran or in the United States. Very few companies are going to choose Iran,” Hook said.
A history of violence
On the same day, the State Department released a new report, “Outlaw Regime: A Chronicle of Iran’s Destructive Activities,” that catalogs what Pompeo called Iran’s “malign activity,” including:
- A plot allegedly involving an Austria-based Iranian diplomat to bomb a rally in Paris by opponents of the regime.
- An attempt by operatives of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force in Turkey to attack Israeli targets.
- A bus bombing in Bulgaria that killed six Israeli tourists and was carried out by Lebanese Hezbollah, which Pompeo called “one of the regime’s most loyal proxies.”
Pompeo singled out other lethal attacks of the revolutionary regime in Tehran dating back to the 1990s from Africa to South America to Asia.
He warned Iran that the United States would respond “swiftly and decisively” to any attacks against its personnel and facilities like the rockets fired recently against the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and U.S. Consulate in Basrah by Iranian-backed militias.
He demanded the immediate release of Princeton graduate student Xiyue Wang and other innocent Americans imprisoned in Iran.
Pompeo voiced sympathy for the people of Iran who “are battling drastic water shortages and environmental crises” while the rulers spend billions on “client states, rebel groups and terrorists.”