Ahead of a multi-day trip to the Middle East and Asia, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefed reporters at Joint Base Andrews about ongoing tensions with Iran Sunday. The Islamic regime continues to claim a U.S. Navy drone they shot down last week in the Gulf of Oman was flying in Iranian territory. It was flying in international waters and was unarmed.
"I think it’s really important for everyone to understand that the Iranians are out sowing disinformation in lots of places. First of all, you’ve seen the childlike map that Foreign Minister Zarif put out. The contrast with the excellence and professionalism of America’s military and our intelligence services should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind about where that unarmed vehicle [drone] was," Pompeo said. "It was flying in international airspace, and we shouldn’t let the Iranians have one moment where any reporter would write that there was even a credible response to the data set that the Americans have put forward."
Meanwhile, over the weekend Iran claimed they received a back channel message from the U.S. The Trump administration says this claim is completely false. Pompeo urged reporters to exercise extra caution when presenting information on this issue.
"It is very likely that Iran will continue to present things that are fanciful, that are fraudulent, that are false. And we need to make sure that every news outlet, everyone who is observing this, understands what’s true and what the Iranian regime wants you to believe. That’s truly important," he stressed.
Second, the U.S. has shown beyond any doubt that Iran shot down a U.S. unmanned aircraft in international space and the U.S. is not evacuating personnel from Balad Air Base in Iraq.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 22, 2019
Last, the U.S. stands for peace and stability in the Middle East. The decisions we have taken in response to Iran’s reckless attacks have been to protect Americans and American interests worldwide. Read my full statement: https://t.co/zyFzcFJbBe— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 22, 2019
Pompeo landed in Saudi Arabia earlier today and met with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. He will continue onto the UAE.
Productive meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud today to discuss heightened tensions in the region and the need to promote maritime security in the Strait of Hormuz. Freedom of navigation is paramount. pic.twitter.com/efuZq5EOpK— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 24, 2019
The Treasury Department will issue additional sanctions on Iran today in response to the drone shoot down. Late last week President Trump rejected a military response to the aggression.
....Sanctions come off Iran, and they become a productive and prosperous nation again - The sooner the better!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2019