“I would welcome the chance to speak directly to the Iranian people. I’ve talked about this before. Zarif gets to come here, he comes to New York, he drives around in the most wonderful city in America, and the – and he speaks to the media, he talks to the American public, gets to put Iranian propaganda out into the American airwaves. I’d like a chance to go not do propaganda, but speak the truth to the Iranian people about what it is their leadership has done and how it has harmed Iran. I think the reason they won’t permit that to happen is because they know the truth as well.”
– Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with Kevin Cirilli of Bloomberg, July 25
MARITIME SECURITY INITIATIVE
“We are at the beginning stages of developing our maritime security initiative. We’ll be a part of that, but so will nations from all across the world.”
– Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with Bret Baier of Fox News, July 25
- The United States is working with its partners and Allies to protect civilian shipping and ensure international commerce through the Strait of Hormuz.
- The Maritime Security Initiative (a.k.a. “Operation Sentinel”) will safeguard freedom of navigation and maritime security in the Middle East by promoting the safe passage of vessels and increasing surveillance capabilities.
- On July 25, U.S. Central Command hosted senior representatives from allies and partner nations to discuss this new maritime security initiative at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. The meeting followed a July 19 U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Defense co-hosted discussion with over 60 nations in attendance.
- Please see the full statement from U.S. Central Command.
SANCTIONS ON ZHUHAI ZHENRONG
“The United States is taking further action as part of our maximum economic pressure campaign against the Iranian regime by imposing sanctions on the Chinese firm Zhuhai Zhenrong Company Limited and its chief executive for knowingly purchasing or acquiring oil from Iran, contrary to U.S. sanctions.”
– Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, July 22
- On July 22, the United States imposed sanctions on the Chinese firm Zhuhai Zhenrong Company Limited for knowingly purchasing or acquiring oil from Iran; its chief executive was also sanctioned.
- Sanctioning Zhuhai Zhenrong sends a clear message to the Iranian regime and its enablers – the United States will not stand by while Iran continues to flout our sanctions.
- Please see the full press statement for more information.
MAXIMUM PRESSURE CAMPAIGN
“Our strategy is simple and elegant. The strategy goes like this. It says: step one, do not create wealth for the ayatollah who is wreaking havoc around the world, who is the largest destabilizing influence in the Middle East, and the world’s largest state sponsor of terror. So our economic pressure campaign has been designed to cut off their capacity to inflict malign activity, and we’ve been very successful at that.
The second piece is to convince the Iranian leadership – that’s not Zarif, who everybody meets with when he comes to New York and he wears nice suits; this is the ayatollah. This is Qasem Soleimani. Those are the individuals that have to decide that the cost is too high, the cost to the Iranian people is simply too high and they can’t continue to engage in this behavior, and so they will sit down and negotiate – negotiate to terms that just make Iran look like a normal nation. They’re – we’re fine with them having defensive weapon systems. Every country can do that. But they can’t conduct assassination campaigns. They can’t arm Hizballah. They can’t help the Houthis in Yemen. Those are things that are terror campaigns, and they just aren’t tolerable.”
– Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with Bret Baier of FOX News, July 25