Politics

Pompeo Expresses Optimism That Iran Sanctions Will Bite

Secretary of state tells Laura Ingraham on Wednesday that European companies are not following their government's lead

Image Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images & Lennart Preiss/Getty Images

Iran is already feeling the pain of U.S. sanctions — and that only will grow as new oil penalties take effect next week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday morning on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

When President Donald Trump announced he was withdrawing the United States from the deal negotiated by his predecessor to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, he gave countries six months to wind down oil sales.

European counties have resisted the U.S. move, preferring to remain part of the agreement.

Pompeo (pictured above left) said German officials have not changed their position.

“But nearly every German company, folks with real money at risk, have made the opposite decision,” he said. “They have fled. They have left. They have decided they are not going to run through the Iranian sanctions President Trump will put back in place on Monday.”

Pompeo also expressed confidence that over time, European governments will come around.

Iran has fiercely opposed the new sanctions, vowing that they will not succeed.

“The U.S. has an addiction to sanctions and they believe that the sanctions are the panacea that resolve all the problems. They don’t,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (above right) told “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

“They, in fact, hurt people, and we have an obligation as a government to minimize the impact on the people. But sanctions never change policy.”

Pompeo dismissed Zarif’s comments.

“It’s not the first time that Mr. Zarif has made those kinds of threats,” he said. “But the real decision-maker there isn’t him. It’s the ayatollah.”

The sanctions already have taken a severe bite, according to a number of measures. The country’s crude oil exports have fallen by about a third over the past five months. Sales of crude oil and a light form of oil called condensate have fallen from about 2.7 million barrels per day in June to between 1.7 million and 1.9 million in September.

Iran’s cost of living has risen in recent months, sparking anti-government protests — and its currency has fallen against the dollar.

“We ask for one simple thing,” Pompeo told Ingraham. “We want the Islamic Republic of Iran to behave like a normal nation. If they’ll do that, we’re happy to allow them to enter the community of nations. But we have to continue to apply pressure.”

Pompeo touched on a number of other topics during the Wednesday interview.

He said he continues to work with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to negotiate denuclearization.

“This is a story that’s been going on for years. This is the first administration that’s been prepared to push back against China.”

He said the United States appreciates that North Korea has not conducted a nuclear or long-range missile test in quite some time and added that Trump and Kim plan to meet for a second time early next year.

Pompeo said Trump also will continue efforts to push China toward “fair and reciprocal” trade and to stop intellectual property theft from U.S. corporations.

“This is a story that’s been going on for years,” he said. “This is the first administration that’s been prepared to push back against China.”

Check out this video:

Join the Discussion

COMMENTS POLICY: We have no tolerance for messages of violence, racism, vulgarity, obscenity or other such discourteous behavior. Thank you for contributing to a respectful and useful online dialogue.