The Pentagon plans to take “new measures” to counter Iran’s influence in the Middle East, a Pentagon spokesman said on Monday after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced a new US strategy with regard to Tehran.
“We are going to take all necessary steps to confront and address Iran’s malign influence in the region,” Department of Defense spokesman Rob Manning said at a Pentagon press conference. “We are assessing if we are going to double down on current actions or implement new actions.”
He insisted that the entire government was working together on the issue. “We are part of a whole-of-government approach to addressing Iran,” he said.
Manning refused to say what steps the Pentagon was considering, or whether going to war with the regime was an option, but said, “We’re not going to rule out anything necessary in order to address Iran.”
Earlier in the day, Pompeo had vowed to implement “the strongest sanctions in history” on Tehran after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal earlier this month.
“The sting of sanctions will only grow more painful if the regime does not change course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen for itself and the people of Iran,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo outlined 12 conditions that the United States considers prerequisites for any firm agreement with the Islamic Republic, including giving up ballistic missiles, ending support for terror and halting threats against Israel, among other demands.
He said the length of the list was simple testament to the “scope of the malign behavior of Iran.”