Pompeo says Iran is 'major destabilizing influence' the US 'aims to fix'
The US Secretary of State, while speaking on CNBC, said that the Islamic Republic of Iran is an active threat to American interests as it spreads chaos in the Middle East, however, the White House would "of course" welcome the opportunity to negotiate with Tehran, Sputnik reports.
Mike Pompeo noted that he sees increased threats from Iran and that President Donald Trump's administration is reinforcing its capacity to respond to any offensive action from Iran. And that was the reason why the US decided to deploy a carrier strike group and a bomber task force, according to Pompeo.
"We've done all the right things to increase our security posture to the best of our ability," Pompeo said, "but we also want to make sure that we had deterrent forces in place, so in the event that Iran decides to come after an American interest — whether that be in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Yemen, or any place in the Middle East — we are prepared to respond to them in an appropriate way. "
At the same time, Pompeo argued that despite the greater military presence the US has in the Middle East, Washington isn't looking for a fight.
"We're not going to miscalculate: Our aim is not war, our aim is a change in the behaviour of the Iranian leadership. We hope the Iranian people will get what they finally want, and what they so richly deserve," he said. "The forces that we're putting in place, the forces that we've had in the region before — you know, we often have carriers in the Persian Gulf — but the president wanted to make sure that, in the event something took place, we were prepared to respond to it in an appropriate way."
Pompeo highlighted that he also prepared diplomatic approaches so that Trump had choices "in the event that the Iranians make a bad decision."