Secretary Pompeo argued that "Iran uses its energy exports to exert undue influence all across the Middle East, most particularly today on Iraq. While the U.S. is working to develop an independent, sovereign Iraq, Iran is using its energy to create a vassal state. We have worked hard over the past months to reduce the flow of Iranian crude oil around the world, to convince the Iranian leadership to protect its citizens and deliver to its citizens what it is they're asking for, and to reduce the risk of terror and instability throughout the Middle East". Pompeo went on to state that "you know [Iran's] role in global energy markets. We know that role is diminishing. Its exports have tanked due to our pressure campaign, and we have every intention of driving Iranian oil exports to zero just as quickly as we can". "We'll continue with sanctions until Iran behaves in the way normal nations do", Pompeo added, "without threatening assassination campaigns in Europe, conducting terror campaigns throughout Syria and Iraq, without underwriting Hizbollah".
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