- United States
QUESTION: Well, I have to ask you in closing, Mr. Secretary, about a tweet from President Trump earlier today. He said, “I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.” Now, this came after Iran had successfully put into orbit what is called its first – I guess its first satellite, military satellite, hours before this tweet.
So where do things stand at this hour? Is – that’s a pretty serious threat coming from the United States, and what’s next?
SECRETARY POMPEO: It is pretty serious. It’s a coincidence you asked that question, right, about talking about John Kerry. You’ll recall when, under the Obama administration with Secretary Kerry, they took 10 of our Navy sailors, and John Kerry apologized to get them back. This is a very different approach from our President. He takes seriously the obligation to protect our forces wherever they may be, in this case, on Naval ships in the Arabian Gulf. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure we defend our folks and continue to deter the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Laura, last thing to say, they launched this military satellite today. They had promised that their entire satellite program, their entire missile program, was civilian, and the person who oversaw this launch was General Hajizadeh. This is the same fellow whose forces shot down an aircraft, killing 176 innocent civilians, just a few weeks ago.