QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, thank you so much for being with us on Sky News. How are you doing
SECRETARY POMPEO: It’s wonderful to be with you.
QUESTION: Thank you. The United States is reinforcing various sanctions on Iran. We’ve heard statements over the last few days coming from Tehran that basically amount to threats, (inaudible) in the region, that – some went as far as threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz. How would the United States respond (inaudible) such threat?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, it all starts with Iranian bad behavior, the kinds of things that threaten the people here in the Emirates – missiles being launched from Yemen that strike real risk to the people of all of the Gulf states. And so American policy is aimed to deter that.
I’ve seen these remarks about their threats. The world should know that America is committed to keeping sea lanes open, to keep transit of oil available for the entire world. That’s the commitment we’ve had for decades. We continue to honor that commitment.
QUESTION: You had a tweet a few days ago saying that Iran’s activities in Yemen, the – (inaudible) the prolonged suffering of the Yemeni people will not be tolerated. What will Washington do in order to (inaudible)?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, we’ve done a lot of things. We’ve done work to push back against the threat of al-Qaida in Yemen. We’ve worked with the Saudis and with the Emiratis to reduce the risk from the Iranian threat there in Yemen through identifying transit of weapons that are moving in and around the region so that the Houthis don’t have the material to conduct these threats. We think it’s important that every place Iran attempts to use its force we raise the cost for them such that the Iranian people will ultimately reject that use of force.
QUESTION: The U.S. allies in Europe that were part of the 5+1 agreement with Iran are in talks with Iran right now in order to salvage what’s left of this agreement. How are you hoping talking to the Europeans about this and how are they responding?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, it’s a great question. I’ll actually leave here and headed for Brussels. I’ll meet with my European counterparts to talk about exactly this set of issues. Frankly, we agree in large part. The Europeans understand the threat that Iran poses. Indeed, just this past week, there were Iranians arrested in Europe who were preparing to conduct a terror plot in Paris, France. We’ve seen this malign behavior in Europe. The Europeans understand the threat. We are working through a difference. The American people concluded that the JCPOA made no sense, that it was truly a pathway for Iran to have a nuclear weapon. So we are attempting to stop that. We’re working now with the Europeans to develop a plan and a path forward to continue to stop Iran from its nuclear program, but also to push back against its missile system and its terrorist behavior.
QUESTION: Some countries in Europe and in other parts of the world intend to keep on getting oil from Iran even after the sanctions are imposed. How would you look at this?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, that will violate the sanctions that we put in place. Come November 4th, there will be a U.S. sanction that prevents crude oil from passing from Iran to other countries. It will be sanctionable activity. We will enforce those sanctions. There will be a handful of countries that come to the United States and ask for relief from that. We’ll consider it. But make no mistake about it, we are determined to convince the Iranian leadership that this malign behavior won’t be rewarded and that the economic situation in their country will not be permitted to be rectified until such time as they become a more normal nation.