Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's Interview with Michelle Caruso-Cabrera of CNBC (Excerpts)

July 30, 2018

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

QUESTION: Thanks so much for doing this.


QUESTION: We’re going to talk about the initiatives for the Indo-Pacific region for sure, but first can I start with: The President, during his news conference with the prime minister of Italy, said he would meet with the president of Iran with no preconditions. Are you on board with that? Is that a good idea?

SECRETARY POMPEO: I am indeed. We’ve said this before. We – the President wants to meet with folks to solve problems. If the Iranians demonstrate a commitment to make fundamental changes in how they treat their own people, reduce their malign behavior, can agree that it’s worthwhile to enter into a nuclear agreement that actually prevents proliferation, then the President has said he is prepared to sit down and have the conversation with him.

QUESTION: There were reports last week that they have rebuffed numerous requests from the President. Is that true?

SECRETARY POMPEO: I’m not going to speak about private conversations that may have been had or may not have been had.

QUESTION: The Iranian currency is getting pummeled, and this is even ahead of the snapback sanctions that go into place next week. Are you happy about that? Is that a good thing? Is that going to help bring them to the table?

SECRETARY POMPEO: What we’re looking for isn’t the rial to collapse or anything else for that matter. What we are demanding in a change in the behavior of the regime. You can’t launch missiles into Riyadh. You can’t arm people in Iraq and Syria and Lebanese Hizballah. You can’t fight with Iraqi militias. That’s not behavior that is acceptable from Iran. Those are the changes that we’re looking for, and we’re hopeful that the Iranian regime will see it that way as well and change their behavior.