Pompeo privately said Trump administration will not pursue military intervention in Iran: report

Pompeo privately said Trump administration will not pursue military intervention in Iran: report
© Stefani Reynolds

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoBolton replacement inherits tough challenges — including Trump Saudi Arabia says it will take 'appropriate' action if Iran's role in attacks confirmed Clarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump MORE reportedly told a group of Iranian American community leaders the U.S. is not seeking a regime change in Iran through direct military intervention, according to Axios.

Pompeo met with 15 leaders last Monday at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel, according to Axios, citing three sources who were in the room, one of whom took detailed notes. During the meeting, Pompeo reportedly was asked, “If regime change does not occur internally what is the endgame?"

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In response, according to the site, Pompeo responded that the administration is “careful not to use the language of regime change” and that the Trump administration does not plan to intervene militarily in Iran. When asked if the administration had considered the possibility of a coup, Pompeo quipped that he would not tell the attendees even if it had, prompting laughter, according to the article.

Beyond ruling out military intervention, Pompeo was vague about the administration’s plans regarding Iran, according to Axios. He reportedly said that “our best interest is a nonrevolutionary set of leaders leading Iran,” according to notes viewed by Axios, and that the Trump administration would have handled the 2009 “Green Movement,” in which disputes over the legitimacy of the Iranian presidential election led to mass protests, differently from the Obama administration, but he did not detail how, according to Axios.

Pompeo also reportedly told the group that “there are no guarantees” U.S. sanctions would not hurt the people of Iran, according to Axios.

The secretary of State was also reportedly grilled about Trump associates’ connections to the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK), which was designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. until 2012. Several attendees asked Pompeo about the relationship between national security adviser John Bolton and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and MEK, according to Axios.

“Ambassador Bolton spoke at an MEK rally. President TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE and I have not,” Pompeo responded, according to notes viewed by Axios.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.