Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended President Donald Trump’s newest round of sanctions against Iran on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday.
Pompeo told host Margaret Brennan that the sanctions announced by Trump on September 20 would deny Iran “the resources to foment the exact kind strikes we’ve seen,” after Brennan asked if Pompeo thought that the sanctions would prevent future attacks like the alleged Iranian drone strike on Saudi Arabian oil fields on September 14.
“It seems Iran’s behavior is getting worse, not better, based on the Trump administration’s campaign. You’ve been very aggressive with these sanctions. Why do you think sanctioning them leads to better behavior?” Brennan asked.
“The strategy is working. We sanctioned the central bank on Friday. Margaret, you have to remember, the sanctions that we put in place ultimately will cause the Iranian regime to shrink by 10% to 15%. They only went in place in May of this year. They’re five months on; we’re at the beginning of the sanctions campaign.” Pompeo responded.
Brennan followed up Pompeo’s answer by asking, “I guess fundamentally why do you think sanctions will be preventative and not just punitive? Why do you think making Iran more desperate will get them to act more responsible?”
“It will deny them the resources to foment the exact kind of strikes we’ve seen. It will deny them the money, the wealth, the resources. They’re operating today in five countries. It’s expensive. They’ve already had the make difficult decisions about whether they will feed their people, provide medicine to their people, or launch missiles into Saudi Arabia. I am convinced the Iranian people see those choices being made, and as time goes on, they will continue to see that those conditions worsen.” Pompeo concluded. (RELATED: Democratic Rep. Jim Himes Syas Iran’s Attack On Saudi Arabia Was Trump’s Fault)
Pompeo’s comments come after an escalation of U.S.-Iran relations over a drone attack on Saudi Arabian oil fields that led to a 50% reduction in Saudi oil production. Both Saudi Arabian military officials and officials in the Trump administration have indicated that Iran was responsible for the attack, though the Iranian government continues to deny any Iranian involvement.
In response to the attacks, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced that U.S. troops and military equipment would be deployed to Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. to help defend the U.S.’s Middle East allies in case of another attack.
On September 20. Trump announced a new round of sanctions on Iran in response to the attack, calling the measures the, “highest sanctions ever imposed on a country.” Trump added in his announcement of new sanctions that “I don’t want war with anybody. I’m somebody that would like not to have war.”