On July 22, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed a group of Iranian Americans and supporters at a gathering in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library. After thanking the group for the opportunity to speak, Pompeo focused on the impact of 40 years of governing by the Iranian regime.
The regime spends oil money on its military and terrorist activities
He noted the economic tailspin of Iran, while the regime spends oil money on its military and terrorist activities. “Regime mismanagement has led to the rial plummeting in value. A third of Iranian youth are unemployed, and a third of Iranians now live below the poverty line,” said Pompeo. “The bitter irony of the economic situation in Iran is that the regime uses this same time to line its own pockets while its people cry out for jobs and reform and for opportunity. The Iranian economy is going great – but only if you’re a politically connected member of the elite. Two years ago, Iranians rightfully erupted in anger when leaked paystubs showed massive amounts of money inexplicably flowing into the bank accounts of senior government officials.”
He went on to site several examples, including members of the Iranian judiciary and an ayatollah who is in the sugar trade, of the widespread corruption to be found throughout the Iranian government.
Pompeo also noted that while Europe is focused on trying to save the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iranian regime is planning terrorist attacks on its soil. He cited the recent aborted attack on the Iranian resistance gathering in Paris at the end of June.
“In response to myriad government failures, corruption, and disrespect of rights, since December Iranians have been taking to the streets in the most enduring and forceful protests since 1979…The specific grievances do differ, but all those voicing dissatisfaction share one thing: They have been ill-treated by a revolutionary regime. Iranians want to be governed with dignity, accountability, and respect,” said Pompeo.
The Iranian people
He also noted that the regime has responded harshly to the protests and it is clear that the regime feels threatened by the Iranian people becoming empowered to speak out. He also noted that the United States is moving forward with a campaign meant to force the Iranian regime to pressure it to change and indicated that more economic pressure was on the horizon.
It appears that the goal of the United States is to create a real change for the Iranian people and that may be the support needed for the Iranians to demand regime change.