Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on Friday that President Trump is authorizing new sanctions in Iran.
The announcement comes at a time of heightened tensions between Iran and the US. Earlier this week, Iran launched strikes on Iraqi bases housing US troops. Those strikes were retaliation after the US killed a top Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani, last week.
“We will cut off billions of dollars of support to the Iranian regime and we will continue our enforcement of other entities,” Mnuchin said.
Pompeo said he has “no doubt” Iran intended to kill Americans — and said the sanctions authorized today are an appropriate response.
Pompeo was just asked if Iran’s strikes on bases housing US troops deserve a different response.
“There is no doubt in my judgment as I observed the Iranian activity in the region that night, they had the full intention of killing US forces, whether that was our military folks or diplomatic folks in the region,” Pompeo said.
He added: “I’m confident that the response the President has taken is appropriate. The President has said we don’t want war. We want Iran to behave like a normal nation.”
Pompeo once again said the US had “specific information on an imminent threat,” which prompted the Soleimani attack. He did not provide direct evidence of this intelligence.
“We had specific information on an imminent threat. And those threats included attacks on US embassies. Period, full stop,” Pompeo told reporters.
Asked how precise the administration’s intelligence of an imminent threats was, here’s how Pompeo responded:
“I don’t know exactly which minute. We don’t know exactly which day it would have been executed. But it was very clear: Qasem Soleimani himself was plotting a broad, large-scale attack against American interests, and those attacks were imminent.”