The US is not interested in regime change in Tehran, but wants it to change its behaviour and stop continuing with their terror threats to the world, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday as he described Iran as the world's "largest state sponsor of terror".
Earlier this year, the Trump administration had withdrawn from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and re-imposed a series of tough sanctions on Iran.
While the first phase of sanctions is already in place, the sanctions would come into full force on November 4 and the US expects all countries, including India, to bring down their import of Iranian oil to zero by then.
"We have made very clear that regime change is not President (Donald) Trump's policy. We've laid out what it is we want from the Islamic Republic of Iran," Pompeo told MSNBC in an interview.
The demand from the US, he said, is pretty straightforward.
"For starters, stop launching missiles into Riyadh, arming Hezbollah, and threatening Israel. How about ceasing to be the world's largest state sponsor of terror. These are simple demands that we make of every country in the world, and that's what we are looking for from Iran as well," Pompeo said.
"When the Islamic regime makes that change, we'll be happy to have a conversation with them. President Trump's made that very clear. But there's no signs that they're backing off continuing their terror threats around the world," he said.
In another interview with CNN, Pompeo alleged that Iran has been confronting the world as the world's largest state sponsor of terror for quite some time.
"They have armed militias - the Lebanese Hezbollah, Kata'ib Hizballah, and militias in Iraq. They are arming the Houthis in Yemen, launching missiles into the Gulf states. The US has begun to apply economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran to prevent them from doing this. That's our mission," he said.
The Trump administration, he said, has told Iran that using a proxy force to attack an American interest will not prevent US from responding against the prime actor.
"That is, we will not let Iran get away with using a proxy force to attack an American interest. Iran will be held accountable for those incidents," he said.
Pompeo said that Iran is going to be held accountable for those acts. "If they're responsible for the arming and training of these militias, we're going to go to the source," he said.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to be the world's largest state sponsor of terror," Pompeo told Fox News in another interview.
"We are determined to stop that behaviour and to change the way the Iranian regime inflicts horrors all around the world," he said.
A good piece of that was President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which to him made no sense whatsoever, to begin to re-impose costs on Iran so that they don't have the wealth, the contacts around the world, and the capacity to inflict harm on the American people and others around the world.
"We're looking for our European partners to join us, but we have a big coalition that understands that these sanctions make sense and will continue to assist us in enforcing them," Pompeo told Fox News.