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Pompeo: ‘Enormous change’ required from Iran

Pompeo: ‘Enormous change’ required from Iran
© Anna Moneymaker

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoBiden should expand contact between US and Taiwanese officials On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits MORE on Sunday said Iran would have to make "enormous change" in order for the U.S. to consider de-escalating sanctions against the country.

"We’re very hopeful that we can find a way to move forward, but it’s going to require enormous change on the part of the Iranian regime," he told reporters. "They’ve got to — well, they’ve got to behave like a normal country. That’s the ask. It’s pretty simple." 

He also called Iran one of the world's largest state sponsors of terror, saying the U.S. will continue to enforce sanctions until Tehran ends its "malign activity." 

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"Perhaps that’ll be the path the Iranians choose to move down," Pompeo said. "But there’s no evidence to date of their desire to change and behave in a more normal way." 

Sanctions against Iran's automotive industry, as well as gold and other metals, are set to take effect on Monday.

President TrumpDonald TrumpGiuliani used provisional ballot to vote in 2020 election, same method he disparaged in fighting to overturn results Trump gets lowest job approval rating in final days as president Fox News' DC managing editor Bill Sammon to retire MORE in May left former President Obama's Iran nuclear deal, which relaxed sanctions on Tehran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program. The second round of sanctions is slated to go into effect in November. 

Pompeo said the U.S. is "going to enforce the sanctions."  

The secretary of State has been ramping up a pressure campaign against Iran in recent weeks, calling the Iranian government corrupt and exploitative while offering words of support for those protesting it on the ground. 

"The Iranian people are not happy — not with the Americans, but with their own leadership," Pompeo said. "They’re unhappy with the failure of their own leadership to deliver the economic promises that their leadership promised them."