Published On: Tue, Nov 6th, 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Questioned by Chris Wallace for Going Easy on Iran Sanctions

On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on “Fox News Sunday.”

During the segment, host Chris Wallace took on Pompeo over the Trump administration’s upcoming sanctions on Iran, beginning with the “exemptions to eight countries to allow them to keep buying oil from Tehran.”

“…the sanctions that will be reimposed tomorrow are the toughest sanctions ever put in place on the Islamic Republic of Iran. They’re aimed at a singular purpose: denying the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorists the capacity to do things like they did this past couple weeks – attempted assassination campaign in the heart of Europe.

“These sanctions have already had an enormous impact. We’ve already reduced Iranian crude oil exports by over a million barrels per day. That number will fall farther. There’s a handful of places where countries that have already made significant reductions in their crude oil exports need a little bit more time to get to zero, and we’re going to provide that to them.”

Wallace pressed if the exemptions will be extended China and India, noting that “there are a lot of experts who believe that India and China are never gonna stop buying oil from Iran.”

Pompeo replied:

There are a lot of experts, Chris, that said President Trump’s policy wouldn’t have any impact because it was just the United States, and other countries weren’t participating. And, in fact, we have built an enormous coalition to keep this world safe and to deny Iran money. I am very confident that the sanctions that will be reimposed this Monday – not only the crude oil sanctions, [but] the financial sanctions that are being put in place by the Treasury Department and over 600 designations of individuals and companies in Iran – will have the intended effect to alter the Iranian regime’s behavior. That’s our expectation. It’s the reason for President Trump’s policy.

Later Pompeo pulled a Trump: “…we’ve already taken more crude oil off the market than any time in previous history. Watch the efforts that President Trump’s policies have achieved. We’ve done all of this, too, Chris, while making sure that American consumers don’t suffer. We’ve got Brent crude at about the same price it was back in May when the president announced the withdrawal from the JCPOA. That’s important for American consumers, and the march to zero continues.”

Wallace pointed to the Senate, asking if sanctions are enough: Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) “plan to introduce legislation to cut off Iranian banks from the global financial network known as Swift.” He also noted that some have claimed that the Trump administration has “caved.

Pompeo repeated that the “president’s policy of maximum pressure will be fully in place” adding that the United States wants to “support the Iranian people,” and that any effort against Iran is meant to change bad behavior on the part of the Iranian government.

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