Pompeo vows 'decisive' response to attack by Iran

US Secretary of State: We do not seek war but any attack by Iran will be answered with a swift and decisive US response.

Elad Benari ,

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday threatened a "swift and decisive" US response to any attack by Iran.

"The regime in Tehran should understand that any attacks by them or their proxies of any identity against US interests or citizens will be answered with a swift and decisive US response," Pompeo said in a statement quoted by AFP.

"Our restraint to this point should not be mistaken by Iran for a lack of resolve," he made clear.

At the same time, he stressed, "We do not seek war."

"But Iran's 40 years of killing American soldiers, attacking American facilities, and taking American hostages is a constant reminder that we must defend ourselves," said Pompeo, referencing the 1979 Islamic revolution that transformed Iran from close US ally to sworn foe.

The statement comes several days after the US announced it would deploy a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan later said he approved the deployment because of "indications of a credible threat" by Iran.

In addition, Iran announced on Wednesday it would reduce some of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal but would not withdraw from it completely, in response to the US withdrawal from the deal.

Following that announcement, Pompeo blasted Iran and said, “The Iranian regime’s announcement that it intends to expand its nuclear program defies international norms and is a blatant attempt to hold the world hostage.”

He called on the international community “to hold Iran’s regime accountable for its threat to expand its nuclear program.”