He said that for almost 40 years, the people of Iran have endured kleptocracy and have seen their wealth “squandered on supporting terrorism”. He also said that the people of Iran have been jailed for peacefully exercising their right to protest. Pompeo highlighted that the regime forcefully pushed itself into power in 1979 and has been spreading its ideological agenda since, leaving the welfare of the people to the side.
Regarding the nuclear deal, Pompeo said that the people should have been able to benefit from the lifting of sanctions, but again, the needs of the people were put to one side and the regime squandered the money on terrorism. Furthermore, he pointed out that an Iranian firefighter makes two to three times less than an average Hezbollah member.
He said: “The level of corruption and wealth among Iranian leaders shows that Iran is run by something that resembles the mafia more than a government.”
The Secretary of State’s rhetoric has gone up a level since his speech in Many where he listed 12 conditions that Tehran must adhere to as well as the Trump administration’s strategy for moving forward.
As well as being under immense pressure on the domestic front, Iran is facing much pressure on an international level.
Although the Trump administration has said that it is not specifically pursing policy for regime change, it has said that it will support the people in making their voice heard. In his May speech, Pompeo said: “While it is ultimately up to the Iranian people to determine the direction of their country, the United States … will support the long-ignored voice of the Iranian people.”
And this is exactly what the people of Iran need. In 2009, the people of Iran were ignored by the Obama administration. This was a move that essentially blocked the people of Iran from progressing in their plight.
The Trump administration has alluded to this and it is clear that it will not be acting in the same way. At the end of December last year, President Trump took to Twitter to call the regime out on its suppression of the people.
This is bad news for the Iranian regime because it puts weight behind the people’s demands for regime change. The people are no longer hoping for reform and moderation. That boat has sailed. It is very clear that the regime is incapable of both.