Secretary Michael R. Pompeo Remarks to the Traveling Press (Excerpts)

February 19, 2020

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • United States


QUESTION:  Iran’s Supreme Leader over the weekend said that they will not come to the table unless the United States stops their pressure campaign.  Just wanted to get your response to his comments.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  We’re prepared to talk at any time, but they’ve got to fundamentally change their behavior. That’s what we’ve asked for consistently for now three years of the Trump administration.

We’ve laid down the outlines of what that would look like, the twelve points, the things they have to do, but they’re really common sense, right.  You can’t build out your nuclear program, you can’t foment terror around the world.  Even today, you were just talking about this attack in Iraq.  It creates extraterritorial kinetic activity – just unacceptable.  And then finally, they got to get the missile program back in a place where they’re permitted to defend themselves, but no more than that.  And the human rights violations, the fact that they’re still detaining Europeans and Americans unlawfully is unacceptable.

When they’re prepared to come to the table and talk about those, so are we.  We’re standing by.  We’re not anxious.  We’re not rushed.  The pressure campaign continues.  It’s not just an economic pressure campaign, it’s diplomatic pressure, it’s isolation through diplomacy as well.  And you’ve seen the work that we’ve done to make sure that we have the resources in place to deter their attacks further.