Pompeo began the briefing by stating that US officials were monitoring ongoing protests in the Islamic Republic of Iran, stressing that the US condemns "any acts committed by the government against the Iranian people."
"The Islamic Republic must cease violence against it's own people," Pompeo told reporters. "The world is watching."
Shifting focus, the secretary went on to state that the US would be terminating the Iran sanctions waiver for Iranian underground uranium enrichment facility Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant. "There is no legitimate reason to enrich uranium," the official stressed, before adding that the enrichment level needs to stay at zero.
The secretary's remarks come after Iran announced earlier this year that it would be gradually scaling back its commitments to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in response to the Trump administration's withdrawal from the Obama-era agreement in May 2018. Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, stated in early November that Iran was preparing for the fourth stage of its pullback from the 2015 deal.
The US' decision on Fordow is effective December 15.
Iran Needs to 'Behave Like a Normal Nation'
Pompeo further indicated that the US wants Iran to abandon its "revolutionary" stance and "behave like a normal nation." Additionally, the official stated that he believes that those are the sentiments of Iranian demonstrators. "And, I think, that is what you are hearing and seeing in these protests that are taking place in the Islamic Republic of Iran over these past few days," he said.
Protests in Iran recently erupted as a result of an abrupt decision by officials to increase the price of petrol in an attempt to curb the effects of US sanctions on the Iranian economy. Iran's petrol decision, which was agreed on by the country's Supreme Council of Economic Coordination, was announced November 15, and subsequently spiked petrol prices by nearly 50%.
Since the announcement, demonstrations have been constant - drivers have abandoned their vehicles on highways, and protesters have blocked roadways. Al Jazeera reported that an estimated 87,000 people have taken part in protests.