Pompeo: US targeting 'actual decision-makers' in Iran instead of proxies

Pompeo: US targeting 'actual decision-makers' in Iran instead of proxies
© UPI Photo

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoNoem to travel to South Carolina for early voting event Poll: Trump leads 2024 GOP primary trailed by Pence, DeSantis Pence v. Biden on China: Competing but consistent visions MORE said on Sunday that the U.S. is targeting “actual decision-makers” in Iran rather than Tehran's proxy forces.

Pompeo told ABC’s “This Week” that the Trump administration’s approach is different from past U.S. strategies that focused on combating proxy forces rather than the Iranian government itself. 

“We’ve told the Iranian regime, enough,” he said. “You can’t get away with using proxy forces and think your homeland will be safe and secure.”

The secretary of State made the comments in the wake of the U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. 

“We’re going to respond against the actual decision-makers, the people who are causing this threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said. “We’re going to take this seriously and we’re going to defend the American people at every turn.”

Pompeo’s comments come after a tumultuous two weeks for Washington and Iran that started with a strike that killed a U.S. contractor that the U.S. blames on an Iranian-backed militia. In response, the U.S. attacked the militia in Iraq. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Gosar's siblings pen op-ed urging for his resignation: 'You are immune to shame' Sunday shows - Delta variant, infrastructure dominate MORE then authorized the strike in Baghdad that killed Soleimani, driving Iran to threaten retaliation. The president responded by saying the U.S. is ready to strike 52 sites if Iran retaliates, including “those important to Iran & the Iranian culture,” which some say international law forbids.

The secretary of State told ABC on Sunday that the U.S. will “behave lawfully” and only strike “lawful” targets.