QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, welcome on the program. Great to have you here on BILD.
SECRETARY POMPEO: It’s great to be with you.
QUESTION: You said that you’re not going to allow Iran to make business in the world. Now, here in Germany there are lots of companies that want to do business with Iran, and the German Government does not agree with snapback sanctions. So what is the consequences for German companies that will do business with Iran in the future?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, that’s an important question. You should know there are lots of companies in the United States that would probably like to do business with the Islamic Republic of Iran as well. It’s a – they’re a great people. It’s a long history, a sophisticated civilization. But unfortunately, the regime there, the theocratic, kleptocratic regime led by the ayatollah presents enormous risk to the world. And the United States is not going to allow that risk to be enhanced by allowing them to traffic in arms and weapons. And so what we have done is we’ve used the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 to make sure that that can’t happen, and the United States is going to use every bit of its capacity to ensure that those United Nations sanctions are enforced. They’ll be enforced equally, fairly against businesses from across the world. We want to make sure that there’s no more money, no more wealth created for this regime that for 40 years on now has created terror and put Europeans at risk.
QUESTION: So just to be clear here, a German bank that does business in Iran will not do business in the U.S. anymore?
SECRETARY POMPEO: You’ll see the formal rollout of the announcements. With respect to the scope, today the Department of Treasury will lay out a very clear set of guidelines. We want to make sure no one’s surprised. We want to make sure they know precisely what’s lawful and what’s unlawful. But you can recall just before the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was put in place, there were a set of UN Security Council resolutions, and nearly all of those sanctions will be back in place or are back in place as of midnight this past Saturday.
QUESTION: There is a moral component involved here. Iran has just executed wrestler Navid Afkari for his alleged role in anti-government protests. What are you telling German business leaders about who they are doing business with there?
SECRETARY POMPEO: That’s a good point, too. I think German businesses will understand this. I think German businesses will, much as they have with respect to the U.S. sanctions that have been in place since the Trump administration departed from the JCPOA, I think German businesses will get it. I think they’ll understand the risk and they’ll comply with these UN Security Council resolutions. It’s the German Government that has just been so disappointing. This country has created assassination campaigns throughout Europe. The idea that they would have more money and wealth because they could sell weapons – the German Government tells us they agree with that. They don’t want Iran to be able to buy and sell weapons – yet, they have come up with no plan, no alternative, no way to prevent it.
The United States is going to lead. The United States will take the right decision. We will make the moral decision. Not only did they execute this wrestler, remember this is the most anti-Semitic nation on the planet. This is a nation that threatens to destroy not only America but the nation of Israel. I think the German people understand that risk. I think they understand the threat to themselves and to the world. This is not a country that should escape the sanctions that 2231 lays out. It’s not a nation that should on October 19th of this year be able to buy and sell weapons.
QUESTION: You called the German Government’s role disappointing. Do you think the German Government fully understands what this regime plans to do to the state of Israel?
SECRETARY POMPEO: I think it’s unmistakable. We don’t – you don’t have to guess. They tell us repeatedly what their intentions are, and then you see their actions consistent with that. So I think the whole world knows the nature and the threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran. There’s been a disagreement for years now about the value of this nuclear deal. The United States views it as not only unfortunate but dangerous. The Europeans have suggested that somehow staying inside of this is important. The United States has taken a different approach. We’re not going to allow them to have the money and wealth to continue to foment terror. We’re not going to underwrite – we’re not going to send pallets of cash over to the Iranian regime. And we’re going to work to develop a system that makes sure that Iran never has a nuclear weapon, and the United States has the capacity to lead the world to push back against this terror threat.
QUESTION: Another huge story, especially over here in Europe, has been the attempted assassination of the Russian opposition leader Navalny, who is now in treatment here in Berlin. He is feeling better, fortunately. And many people make the connection to the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 now that floods Russia with European money and obviously plays a role in financing these kind of acts. What is your message to Chancellor Merkel here in Berlin when it comes to Nord Stream 2 and finishing that project?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, two points here. With respect to Mr. Navalny, the United States has made clear that the use of chemical weapons in this way is unacceptable. We’ve made clear our expectations that the Russians will allow an investigation that will ultimately permit us to determine how it was that Mr. Navalny became poisoned. We’ll wait for the OPCW results – I think it’s later this week or next. As for the response to that, the United States – you’ll recall when chemical weapons were used on Skripal – took a very strong response. There’s no reason to anticipate the United States won’t react in a way that does justice to what may have taken place once all of the facts are available.
And then as for Nord Stream 2, we’ve been unambiguous there as well. The United States believes that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline underwrites Russia, creates risk for Europe by allowing it to become dependent upon gas that’s coming out of Russia, and also threatens Ukraine, something I know many German people care deeply about. So we hope that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline won’t be completed. We’re working to make sure we build out a coalition that prevents that from happening. We hope the German Government will come to see it this way, whether it’s because of what took place to Mr. Navalny or because of the real security implications that come from becoming dependent on Russian gas.
QUESTION: Your personal prediction, will Nord Stream 2 be finished and bring gas to Europe and European money back to the Kremlin?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, I – I try and stay out of the prediction business. My mission set is to lay out President Trump’s policies and what it is we’re trying to achieve, and we’ll work hard every day to get to the right outcome. I don’t want to predict what will happen.
QUESTION: All right, sir, thank you very much and have a good day over there.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you very much, sir. You have a wonderful day, too.
QUESTION: Thank you.