US 'Not Afraid' to Tackle Iran at 'Highest Level' - Pompeo

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that the US is not "afraid to tackle" the Iranian regime at the "highest level" of its government.

"We weren't afraid to tackle the regime at its highest level," Pompeo was quoted as saying by AFP at the Reagan Foundation. US Secretary of State also said that Washington wants all countries to reduce their imports of Iranian oil "as close to zero as possible" by November 4.

Speaking to an audience at the Reagan Foundation, Mike Pompeo smeared the Iranian authorities, saying that Iran "is run by something that resembles the mafia more than a government." According to Reuters, Pompeo also stressed that while the Iranian people must determine the country's direction, Washington "will support the long-ignored voice of the Iranian people."

An oil tanker is seen off the port of Bandar Abbas, southern Iran (File) - Sputnik International
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Mike Pomepo also said that the US government was launching a 24/7 Farsi-language channel on TV, radio, digital and social media formats to "reach Iranians in Iran and around the globe."

Last week, The Financial Times reported that Washington had refused to exempt European companies from sanctions related to their activities in Iran. Representatives of Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the European Union sent a request to the United States asking it exclude the financial, energy and healthcare sectors from Iranian-related sanctions that are due to be enforced in the near future.

In response, however, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly wrote that Washington wanted to exert "unprecedented financial pressure" on Tehran until it achieved a "tangible, demonstrable and sustained shift" in the latter’s policy.

Earlier, Mike Pompeo called on the Washington's allies and partners to join the economic pressure against Tehran, stressing the need to prevent Iran from funding "terrorism and proxy wars."

An Iranian water storage tanker sails off the coast of Qeshm Island in the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's most important waterways (File) - Sputnik International
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"We ask our allies & partners to join our economic pressure campaign against #Iran’s regime. We must cut off all funding the regime uses to fund terrorism & proxy wars. There's no telling when Iran may try to foment terrorism, violence & instability in one of our countries next," Pompeo wrote on Twitter.

In turn, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Sunday called on his US counterpart Donald Trump to stop playing with fire amid Washington's calls for the international community to join sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

"The enemies must understand well that war with Iran is the mother of all wars and peace with Iran is the mother of all peace. We have never been intimidated and will respond threat with threat," Rouhani was quoted as saying by the presidential office at at a meeting with Iranian diplomats on Sunday.

In May, Trump announced that his country would exit the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which stipulated the gradual lifting of the anti-Iran sanctions in exchange for Tehran maintaining the peaceful nature of its nuclear program. In addition, Trump decided to reinstate the previously lifted sanctions on Iran.

The unilateral move has been opposed by other signatories to the agreement, who have pledged commitment to the deal.

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