Pompeo: Iran is run more like a mafia than a government

In speech before Iranian exiles, Secretary of State blasts Iranian regime, vows America will support Iranian people.

Ben Ariel , | updated: 05:24

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday night delivered remarks on “Supporting Iranian Voices” at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Center for Public Affairs in Simi Valley, California.

In his speech, which was attended by Iranian exiles, Pompeo said, “The Trump Administration dreams the same dreams for the people of Iran as you do.”

“At the same time Iran’s regime is trying to convince Europe to stay in the nuclear deal,” he continued, “they’re covertly plotting terrorist attacks in the heart of Europe.”

“The Iran regime’s ideology has led many Iranians to be angry they cannot call their homeland a ‘normal’ country. The United States condemns the oppression levied on the Iranian people by those who rule unjustly,” said the Secretary of State.

“A constitution that enshrines the destruction of its neighbor is not normal. Torture of its people is not normal. Being the top sponsor of terrorism is not normal.”

The corruption in Iran shows the Islamic Republic “is run by something that resembles the mafia more than a government,” charged Pompeo.

“40 years of fruit from Iran’s Islamic Revolution has been bitter. 40 years of kleptocracy. 40 years of the people’s wealth squandered on terrorism. 40 years of Iranians jailed for expressing their rights.”

“We hope the next 40 years will be marked by freedom, not repression.”

Pompeo said that while the Iranian people must determine the country’s direction, Washington “will support the long-ignored voice of the Iranian people.”

He added that the U.S. government would launching a 24/7 Farsi-language channel on TV, radio, digital and social media formats to reach Iranians in Iran and around the globe.

Before the speech, reports said the White House had launched a campaign to pressure Iran to end its nuclear weapons program and support of terrorist organizations.

The campaign is supported by Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, Reuters reported, citing U.S. officials.

Both the White House and the State Department declined to comment.

The new campaign comes after President Donald Trump asked American allies not to import Iranian oil after November 2018. Currently, the U.S. is working to encourage other countries to adopt the ban, as well as working to find alternative sources of oil so that supply to consumers is not disrupted.

Before Pompeo’s speech on Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned the United States not to "play with the lion's tail", saying that conflict with Iran would be the "mother of all wars".

"You declare war and then you speak of wanting to support the Iranian people,” said Rouhani in comments directed at Trump.

"You cannot provoke the Iranian people against their own security and interests," he added.