President Donald Trump “would like a diplomatic solution” with Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday.
“Our mission set is to avoid war. That’s the task in front of us,” Pompeo said on “Fox News Sunday.” “That’s what we’ve been aiming for for a little over two years now, with the strongest sanctions that have ever been put in place against this revolutionary regime.”
“The whole world understands that Iran is the bad actor,” Pompeo went on. “They are the evil force in the region, they are destabilizing in the Middle East.”
Iran bears responsibility for a Sept. 14 attack on the world’s largest oil processor, located in Saudi Arabia, that caused oil prices to spike by the biggest percentage since the Gulf War, the U.S. alleges. Iran, for its part, denies it was behind the assault. And Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday accused the U.S. of “posturing” by sending troops missile defenses to Saudi Arabia in response.
“As for Zarif, I don’t know why anyone listens to him,” Pompeo said. “He has nothing to do with Iranian foreign policy, he lies all the time.”
Pompeo will attend high-level meetings at the United Nations this week, where Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has separately pledged to unveil a peace plan for the region.
“We simply want Iran to behave like a normal nation,” Pompeo said.
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine