Pompeo: Trump Will Pile Pressure on Iran
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed Wednesday that President Donald Trump will increase pressure on Iran.
“I can assure the rest of the world that President Trump will continue to ratchet up the pressure on Iran so that their behavior will change,” he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
He also addressed Iran’s links to the al-Qaeda terrorist organization.
"The factual question with respect to Iran's connections to Al-Qaeda is very real. They have hosted al-Qaeda, they have permitted al-Qaeda to transit their country," he said.
"There is no doubt there is a connection between Iran and al-Qaeda. Period, full stop," he said.
But Pompeo denied Senator Rand Paul's suggestion that Trump's designation Monday of Iran's Revolutionary Guards was aimed at making a legal case for war.
"It was not part of the decision-making process. The designation was a simple recognition of reality," Pompeo said, citing US figures that Iran was behind more than 600 deaths of US troops in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.
Trump has piled pressure on Iran after last year withdrawing from a nuclear accord negotiated under previous president Barack Obama, slapping sweeping sanctions as Washington seeks to roll back the regime's malign regional influence.
Iran is believed to have been the longtime base of Hamza bin Laden, the son of late al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.