Sochi [Russia]: The United States does not fundamentally seek war with Iran, said US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo during a presser with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov here on Tuesday (local time).
Diplomatic tensions have been high between the US and Iran, with the United States designating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Outfit (FTO) recently and refusing to grant extensions in sanction waivers for Iranian oil imports to eight countries.
The presser was held following talks between Pompeo and Lavrov, during which a wide range of bilateral and global issues were discussed between the sides. Pompeo called on the Russian President Vladimir Putin after holding talks with Lavrov.
“We fundamentally do not seek a war with Iran. We are looking for the regime to simply stop conducting assassination campaigns throughout Europe; to cease their support of Hezbollah that threatens interests all across the Middle East, their support for the Houthis that are launching missiles into areas where there are Russians and Americans traveling,” Sputnik quoted Pompeo as saying during the joint presser in Sochi.
He added that if American interests are “attacked” by Iran, Washington will “most certainly respond in the appropriate fashion.”
Just last week, the United States deployed an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force at the Persian Gulf as a message to Iran, according to the US National Security Advisor John Bolton.