According to CNN, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iranian leaders of creating mass violence across the Middle East in order to profit economically.
At the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Sunday, Pompeo said, “The ideologues who forcibly came to power in 1979 and remain in power today are driven by a desire to conform all of Iranian society to the tenants of the Islamic Revolution. The regime is also committed to spreading the Revolution to other countries, by force if necessary.”
“To the regime, prosperity, security, and freedom for the Iranian people are acceptable casualties in the march to fulfill the Revolution,” Pompeo continued.
Pompeo then went on to accuse Iranian leadership of spreading violence and corruption, specifically calling out the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Pompeo claims that Khamenei is profiting off of a $95 billion hedge fund used as a reserve by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“The level of corruption and wealth among regime leaders shows that Iran is run by something that resembles the mafia more than a government,” he said. “These hypocritical holy men have devised all kinds of crooked schemes to become some of the wealthiest men on Earth while their people suffer.”
Pompeo, who has been a longtime critic of Iran and its leadership, specifically with regard to the Tehran nuclear program, called upon America’s allies to help put a stop to the Islamic Republic’s continued destruction, adding that he wants Iranians to maintain the same quality of life as Americans.
In addition, Secretary Pompeo condemned the idea that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are widely considered moderates on the political spectrum, noting that, under their leadership, the Iranian government has funded violent Shiite groups.
Pompeo asserted, “The regime’s revolutionary goals and willingness to commit violent acts hasn’t produced anyone to lead Iran that can remotely be called a statesman. Some believe that President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif fit the bill.”
“The truth is,” he continued, “they are merely polished front men for the ayatollahs’ international con artistry. Their nuclear deal didn’t make them moderates, it made them wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
“These so-called moderates within the regime are still violent Islamic revolutionaries with an anti-America, anti-West agenda,” he claimed.
Southern California, where Pompeo’s address took place, is home a large number of Syrian refugees, who fled Iran during and after the revolution. In attendance was former Tehran bureau chief and Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian.