Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says U.S. pressure is helping to weaken the Iranian regime.
Pompeo made his remarks in a column posted by USA Today on Tuesday night.
"The regime and its proxies are weaker than when our pressure began," he said. "Iranian-backed militias have stated that Iran no longer has enough money to pay them as much as in the past and has enacted austerity plans. Iran's proposed military budget for 2019 included a 28% cut to its defense budget and a 17% cut to its terror branch, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps."
He explained, "The Trump administration has implemented an unprecedented pressure campaign on Iran's leaders with two objectives: First, to deprive the Iranian regime of the money it needs to support its destabilizing activities. Second, to force the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the negotiating table to conclude a comprehensive and enduring deal.
"The comprehensive deal we seek with the Iranian regime should address four key areas: its nuclear program; its ballistic missile development and proliferation; its support for terrorist groups and proxies; and its treatment and illegal detention of U.S. citizens."
Pompeo said the U.S. is seeking a comprehensive deal "and a far more peaceful, stable relationship with Iran."
"We look forward to the day we can help bring the Iranian people and their neighbors the peace and prosperity they deserve," he said.
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