Secretary Pompeo acknowledged that the U.S. goal of removing "every Iranian boot on the ground [in Syria] is an ambitious objective... but it's ours. It is our mission". Withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria, Pompeo explained, "is a tactical change. It doesn't materially alter our capacity to continue to perform the military actions that we need to perform. But even more broadly than that, the campaign to create a better world, to allow the Iranian people to have opportunity and democracy, has lots of pieces to it - economic, financial, diplomatic for sure". He went on to suggest that "the nuclear proliferation risks from Iran are incredibly real... our mission set is certainly to stop the terror regime, to stop the fighting of Hizbollah and Shiite militias and the Huthis... but it has a nuclear component".
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