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  • Remarks by Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State and Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan

    Remarks by Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State and Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan | site |

    Washington, DC - - (May 21, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of State provided the following transcript of remarks made (at a press availability) by U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and U.S. Department of Defense Acting Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan:

    SECRETARY POMPEO: First, we shared with both the House and the Senate our strategic campaign, the effort to push back against Iran’s malign activity – 40 years of terrorist activity. And so we talked to them about that, and we tried to place that – or place the recent intelligence in context of that 40 years of history. And we walked through our efforts and our ultimate objective over the past days, which has been to deter Iran.

    ACTING SECRETARY SHANAHAN: Good afternoon, everybody. We had a very good conversation with both the House and the Senate, and we heard feedback that they’d like more conversation. They’d also like us to be more communicative with the American public, and we agreed to do more of that.

    Today I walked them through what the Department of Defense has been doing since May 3rd, when we received credible intelligence about threats to our interests in the Middle East and to American forces, and how we acted on that credible intelligence. That intelligence has borne out in attacks, and I would say it’s also deterred attacks. We have deterred attacks based on our re-posturing of assets, deterred attacks against American forces.

    Our biggest focus at this point is to prevent Iranian miscalculation. We do not want the situation to escalate. This is about deterrence, not about war – or not about going to war. This is about continuing to protect our interests in the Middle East and conducting the missions that we are there to perform.

    QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

    QUESTION: Secretary Pompeo, will you speak directly to Iran, sir? Will you speak directly to Iran?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: There are plenty of ways that we can have a communication channel. I’m very confident in that. Thank you all very much.


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