Media

Pompeo Shames ‘Fake Newsweek’ For Report Regarding U.S. Sanctions On Iran

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Amber Athey White House Correspondent

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shamed Newsweek magazine on Tuesday for a report claiming that the United States was sanctioning food and medicine in Iran.

Pompeo was referring to a Newsweek article with the headline, “Mike Pompeo Says Iran Must Listen To U.S. ‘If They Want Their People To Eat.’ Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, tweeted out the article and accused Pompeo of threatening to starve Iranians.

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 27: Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (not pictured) speak to the media following talks on June 27, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The two men discussed bilateral relations as well as the Iran nuclear agreement, which eases international sanctions against Iran in exchange for commitments by Iran on its nuclear program. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

BERLIN, GERMANY – JUNE 27: Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (not pictured) speak to the media following talks on June 27, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Newsweek’s headline is misleading when viewed in the full context of Pompeo’s statements, as he was encouraging the Iranian government to spend money on food and other supplies for its citizens rather than using its money to fund terror.

“The leadership has to make a decision that they want their people to eat. They have to make a decision that they want to use their wealth to import medicine and not use their wealth to fund [Iran’s Quds Force commander] Qasem Soleimani’s travels around the Middle East, with causing death and destruction,” Pompeo said.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 18: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talks to journalists following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House October 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. Pompeo briefed Trump about his trip to Saudi Arabia and Turkey to talk to leaders there about the disappearance of Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 18: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talks to journalists following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House October 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. Pompeo briefed Trump about his trip to Saudi Arabia and Turkey to talk to leaders there about the disappearance of Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Pompeo tweeted a complaint about the article’s framing, writing, “Shame on #FakeNewsweek for helping @JZarif spread lies. The truth is: the U.S. does not, and never did, sanction food and medicine.”

A U.S. State Department spokesperson made the same clarification directly to Newsweek after the article was published, making clear that the United States does not place sanctions on “humanitarian trade, including food, medicine, medical devices, and agricultural commodities.”

Follow Amber on Twitter