Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo chaired a summit in support of an “uprising” in Iran, including ongoing protests, as he works to maintain his prominence in conservative circles before 2024.
The summit was held in Washington on Saturday. Pompeo’s presence comes as former Trump cabinet member has shown no signs of halting or slowing down his presidential ambitions following his former boss’s announcement that he will seek the White House again.
Those ambitions could be dampened by Trump’s, or could instead result in Pompeo seeing himself as Mike Pence’s replacement on Trump’s ticket, a position opened thanks to Pence’s accession to the Constitution on Jan. 6. Theoretically, he could even be a contender for the nomination itself if Trump’s bid self-destructs and the former secretary finds a way to compete against other top Republicans like Ron DeSantis.
The former secretary of state was in clear election mode during his speech to the Organization of Iranian American Communities on Saturday; he was quick to tout the Trump administration’s aggressive stance against Iran and withdrawal from the Iran deal, two areas he helped lead both at the State Department and in his previous tenure as CIA director . Mr. Pompeo spoke enthusiastically about his record of working against the Iranian government at both institutions.
“Our administration has used every tool at our disposal to level and eliminate power since [Iranian] regime,” Pompeo said. “While I can’t say much about my work while I was director of the Central Intelligence Agency, you should know that our cooperation with allied nations to reduce its external capabilities has had a real impact on [the regime’s] ability to foment terror.
But the former secretary addressed a wide range of other topics in his lengthy summit remarks on Saturday, including his support for the growing and surprisingly persistent protests that have rocked Iran for several months now.
“Our approach started with the idea that the Iranian people should be supported in every way,” he said. “It is important that the Iranian people understand that this is not a partisan issue. It is important to every American.
Pompeo added of the demonstrations that have taken place in Tehran and numerous other cities: “Three months of powerful and uncompromising protests and riots are not happening by accident. They are not the product of foreign meddling. The regime loves to lie and let’s say it is, these protests are the result of 40 years of organized opposition”.
Those protests have drawn growing acclaim from all sectors of the DC political sphere in Washington thanks to the strong popularity of any domestic resistance against the Iranian government not to mention the explicitly feminist tone of the protesters, who rallied in support of a woman who she was killed in police custody following her detention for wearing headgear improperly.
Support for protests and a round of sanctions against Iranian state security officials responsible for the ensuing crackdown has so far primarily been the extent of Washington’s response to the freeze that essentially ended negotiations on resuming the Iran nuclear deal. a priority of President Joe of Biden.
In the coming weeks, those sanctions could escalate, or the administration could even take further action and issue a statement directly supporting Iranians’ wishes to overthrow their government – a move strongly backed by the OIAC and related groups but which would almost certainly tighten relations with officials in Tehran for years to come, assuming the regime survives this latest challenge.
Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, asked this in her remarks to the group of former US officials gathered at the summit on Saturday and said that “the time has come for the United States to recognize the legitimacy of the youth struggle Iranians against this evil and terrorist force”.
“The United States should officially recognize the Iranian people’s revolution to establish a republic based on democratic values. Regime-affiliated embassies and institutions that provide support for repression inside Iran must be closed. Any form of negotiation and concessions to the criminal rulers of Iran should be stopped,” Ms. Rajavi said.
“It is time for Western governments to change their policy towards Iran. They should recognize the right of the Iranian people to resist and defend themselves against the brutal repression of the religious dictatorship,” he said.