January 22, 2022


News Network

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo with Taher Baraka of Al-Arabiya

13 min read

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

QUESTION:  Thank you for joining us, Mr. Secretary of State.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Great to be with you.

QUESTION:  Thank you.  In regards to the Middle East peace process with more countries forging into peace deals with or agreements with Israel, are there more countries to come anytime soon?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  So I’m very confident that other nations will join what the Emiratis have done, the Bahrainis have done, the Sudanese have done, and recognize the rightful place of Israel among nations.  So yes, I’m very confident.  They’ll do it because it’s the right thing to do for their nation, because it’ll increase prosperity and security for their country.  None of that could have happened without American leadership, without American engagement, without America laying down the reality of the risks in the Middle East, the mess from the Islamic Republic of Iran primarily —

QUESTION:  What does “confidence” mean, Mr. Secretary?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  They know we’re engaged.  We’re engaged in ways that previous administrations weren’t.

QUESTION:  So they’re going to do that soon?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  They’ll do it on their own timing.  They’ll do it when they think it’s in the best interest of each of their nations to do it.  We don’t set timelines.  We didn’t set timelines, we didn’t set —

QUESTION:  Even toward the last days of Trump’s administration — 

SECRETARY POMPEO:  We didn’t set timelines —

QUESTION:  — President Trump’s administration?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  We didn’t set timelines for the previous nations.  We won’t set timelines for these.  What we will do is we will set the conditions.  Right.  Previously, administrations said, boy, if you don’t solve the problem between Israel and the Palestinians, nothing can move.  We must all hate Israel.  That’s wrong.  That was fundamentally wrong.  It didn’t recognize the reality.  The reality is that now the Gulf states and Israel recognize they have a common threat from Iran, that in fact while we would love for the Palestinians to engage with Israel, they have chosen not to.  Their leadership has rejected President Trump’s vision for peace —

QUESTION:  Don’t you think that’s changing in the last days —

SECRETARY POMPEO:  So these nations will choose —

QUESTION:  — the Palestinian approach?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  — to join the Abraham Accords at the time that makes sense for their security and their prosperity.  I’m confident that they will do that.

QUESTION:  Do you think the Palestinian approach – do you think the Palestinian approach changed the last days with the meetings with the Israelis or not yet?  Not enough?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  So the Palestinian leadership has not yet chosen to engage in a serious way to say the vision for peace is a good starting point for a discussion around which we can find common ground.  There’ll be places we disagree and conflict, but we can get to a solution that makes life better – more freedom, more prosperity for the people of – for the Palestinian people, including those in Gaza.

QUESTION:  You just said you are confident other countries will come anytime soon in the peace agreements with Israel.  Are we talking about even if this will take place in the last days of President Trump’s administration?  I get back to my old question.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  I don’t know when they’ll make that decision.  Could be today.  Could be tomorrow.  Could be next week.

QUESTION:  Do you think they still interested to do it after the elections?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  They’re interested because it’s the right thing for their country.  This isn’t about American elections.  This is about American engagement, American leadership, and the recognition that the United States will continue to assist them in a way that provides security and freedom for the American people.  And when we do that, when America is a force for good throughout the world, including in the Middle East, other nations will want to come alongside of us and they’ll make the right choices, including the choice — 

QUESTION:  How many countries?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  — to partner with Israel for their prosperity.

QUESTION:  How many countries are we talking about here?  Two, three, four (inaudible)?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Each – every country that wants – every country that wants a better situation for their own people will come along to recognize Israel.

QUESTION:  Moving on to our second topic, Mr. Secretary, lately you’ve told the press in Israel that all options are on the table regarding how to deal with Iran from now on.  So we can say that even the military option is still on the table after the American elections and after President Trump’s supposedly loss in the elections?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Yes.  Our policy has been consistent for the entire time that President Trump’s been in office.  It hasn’t changed a bit.  We’ve delivered on every commitment that we’ve made to countries throughout the Middle East.  We’ve protected Americans.  We’ve built up partners who want to be on America’s side, who want to partner with the United States of America.  There’s no reason to think that’ll change while President Trump’s in office.

QUESTION:  But you know with the transitional period, usually in the United States it’s been said that no president would take such an action in the last days in office.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Our policies don’t change.  Our duty doesn’t change.  My responsibilities don’t change.  I still have an obligation every hour, every minute, to defend the American people and to keep them foremost in our efforts, and we’ll do that.  We’ll do that till the very last minute.

QUESTION:  So what is the redline?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Redline for what?

QUESTION:  Iran.  The Iranian regime, what is the redline?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  I don’t understand the question.

QUESTION:  What is the redline for the Iranian regime, that you have a redline, you tell them, if you do this, we’d strike or not?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Our policy has been consistent.  We’re working to build out a coalition, which we have successfully done.  It’s part of a larger Middle East strategy that recognized that we had to defeat the caliphate in Syria and Iraq.  We did that.  We built out a coalition and we crushed the caliphate in its entirety.  We built a coalition that said that Iran is the central threat inside of the region.  Then we built out a campaign that denied the regime the resources to underwrite Lebanese Hizballah, the Shia militias in Iraq, all the nasty work that they’ve done inside of Syria.  And we’ve brought partners alongside of us in each of those efforts.  It’s been our policy since we withdrew from the JCPOA back in May of 2018, and it’ll be our policy till our time is complete.

QUESTION:  Does the United States consider staging attacks against Iranian-backed militias in the Middle East and Lebanon and Iraq and Syria and Yemen?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  We never disclose what we’re talking about or what we’re planning.  What we have said consistently is this – and with respect to Iraq in particular – is that we want a free, independent Iraq.  You can see it.  You can see it in the protests in Iraq.  What do they want?  They want freedom.  They want independence.  They don’t want to be under the jackboot of the Islamic Republic of Iran.  And so we have been in Iraq to do two things:  to defeat the caliphate, which we are now complete with, to continue our effort to make sure that ISIS doesn’t arise again and pose risk to the American people; and second, we’re working to help build out Prime Minister Kadhimi and his team so that they can be free, independent, and sovereign in exactly the way the Iraqi people are demanding.

QUESTION:  Are you going to impose more actions on Iran or Iranian militias or their allies in the Middle East?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  We never get out in front of announcing a policy decision.  When we have something to announce, we’ll do that.

QUESTION:  But Mr. Secretary, what is stopping the USA from listing the Houthi militias on the terror list?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  We are always reviewing precisely the way to conduct our efforts.  That includes our economic pressure campaign.  It includes our diplomatic outreach.  It certainly includes whether we’re going to designate an individual or particular group.  Those issues are constantly under review, not only with respect to things in the Middle East but actions that the Chinese Communist Party is taking in Hong Kong and in Xinjiang.  This is part of an ongoing effort by the United States.  We’re still at it.

QUESTION:  Which might be coming soon – last question – putting Houthi militia on the terror list?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  We are constantly reviewing all of our efforts, including who and how we might designate a particular individual or group.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, thank you so much for your time.  I really appreciate it.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Great.  Thank you.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Have a good day.

News Network

  • Professional Standards Update No. 80
    In U.S GAO News
    To alert the audit community to changes in professional standards, we periodically issue Professional Standards Updates (PSU). The purpose of these updates is to highlight the effective dates and issuance of recent standards and guidance related to engagements conducted in accordance with Government Auditing Standards. PSUs contain summary information only, and those affected by a change should refer to the respective standard or guidance for details. This PSU has three sections.
    [Read More…]
  • NASA, ULA Launch Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Mission to Red Planet
    In Space
    The agency’s Mars [Read More…]
  • U.S. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Travel Card Program FAQs
    In Travel
    Content currently [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Issues Guidance on Federal Statutes Regarding Voting Methods and Post-Election “Audits”
    In Crime News
    Today the U.S. Department of Justice announced the release of two guidance documents to ensure states fully comply with federal laws regarding elections, specifically federal statutes affecting methods of voting and federal constraints related to post-election “audits.”
    [Read More…]
  • Somalia Should Hold Elections Immediately
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Chung Eui-Yong Before Their Meeting
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Statement from Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Regarding Texas SB8
    In Crime News
    Attorney General Merrick B. Garland tonight issued the following statement regarding the U.S. District Court’s decision to issue a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of Texas Senate Bill 8. On Sept. 9, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to prevent the State of Texas from enforcing the law, which effectively bans most abortions in the state.
    [Read More…]
  • Pharmacist and Two Pharmacies Agree to Pay $1 Million to Resolve Allegations of False Claims for Anti-Overdose Drug
    In Crime News
    Riad “Ray” Zahr, a pharmacist in Dearborn, Michigan, along with two specialty pharmacies that Zahr formerly owned and operated, have agreed to pay the United States $1 million to resolve allegations that they submitted false claims for the drug Evzio.
    [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Announces Global Resolution of Criminal and Civil Investigations with Opioid Manufacturer Purdue Pharma and Civil Settlement with Members of the Sackler Family
    In Crime News
    Today, the Department of Justice announced a global resolution of its criminal and civil investigations into the opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma LP (Purdue), and a civil resolution of its civil investigation into individual shareholders from the Sackler family.  The resolutions with Purdue are subject to the approval of the bankruptcy court. 
    [Read More…]
  • Customs officer admits to helping undocumented nanny enter the country
    In Justice News
    A 40-year-old Laredo [Read More…]
  • Two Former Tennessee Correctional Officers Sentenced for Civil Rights Offenses
    In Crime News
    Two former Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) Correctional Officers were sentenced today for assaulting an inmate in violation of a federal civil rights statute. 
    [Read More…]
  • The United States Announces New Assistance to Respond to the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Military Training: DOD Met Annual Reporting Requirements and Improved Its Sustainable Ranges Report
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO FoundIn our view, DOD's 2012 sustainable ranges report meets the annual statutory reporting requirements that DOD describe its progress in implementing its sustainable ranges plan and any additional actions taken or to be taken in addressing training constraints caused by limitations on the use of military lands, marine areas, and airspace. DOD's 2012 report also provides updates to several elements of the plan that the act required DOD to include in its original submission in 2004. These elements include (1) proposals to enhance training range capabilities and address any shortfalls in resources, (2) goals and milestones for tracking planned actions and measuring progress, and (3) projected funding requirements for implementing planned actions, among others. Taken together, these elements of DOD's 2012 sustainable ranges report describe the department's progress in implementing its comprehensive plan and addressing training constraints at its ranges, thus meeting the annual reporting requirements of the act.DOD has taken action in response to all 13 prior GAO recommendations that focused on meeting the requirements of the act and improving the report submissions and has completed implementation of all but two of those recommendations. In response to three recommendations in our 2011 report, DOD included additional information in its goals, actions, and milestones and funding requirements sections in the 2012 sustainable ranges report. In our earlier reviews of DOD's annual sustainable ranges report, we identified a total of 10 recommendations. DOD has since completed implementation of all but two of the prior recommendations, which related to readiness reporting. DOD has been addressing these two recommendations by developing and testing a range assessment module for the Defense Readiness Reporting System (DRRS), and expects to complete its review by the end of fiscal year 2012. Through the changes DOD has implemented in its annual reporting over the past several years, many based on GAO recommendations, DOD has continued to improve its reporting on its sustainable ranges. We are making no new recommendations in this report.Why GAO Did This StudyThe Department of Defense (DOD) relies on access to military land, airspace, sea space, and frequency spectrum to provide its forces a realistic training environment that will ready them to face combat or complex missions around the globe. Over the decades, however, several factors collectively known as encroachment have increasingly challenged the military's access to these resources. Additionally, increased operational tempo and overseas deployments, specifically in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, have strained the ability of some existing range resources and infrastructures to continue supporting training at the levels required by DOD and the military services. To respond to these challenges and increase the long-term sustainability of its military range resources, DOD has launched a number of efforts aimed both at preserving its training ranges and addressing the effects of its training activities on the environment and on local communities.Section 366 of the Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003 (as amended) required DOD to submit a comprehensive plan for using existing authorities available to the department to address training constraints caused by limitations on the use of military lands, marine areas, and airspace in the United States and overseas to Congress at the same time as the President submitted his budget for fiscal year 2004. Further, Section 366 required DOD to submit an annual progress report to Congress along with the President's budget for fiscal years 2005 through 2013. To address these requirements, DOD has submitted an annual sustainable ranges report since 2004. In addition, the act directed us to submit annual evaluations of DOD's reports to Congress within 90 days of receiving these reports from DOD. Our review of DOD's 2012 sustainable ranges report is our ninth annual report in response to the act. In this review, we discuss (1) the extent to which DOD's 2012 sustainable ranges report meets the statutory requirements and (2) the extent to which DOD has acted on GAO recommendations to improve its report submissions and what opportunities, if any, exist for DOD to improve future reporting.For more information, contact Brian J. Lepore at (202) 512-4523 or leporeb@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Delivers Remarks Announcing a Pattern or Practice Investigation in into the City of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Department
    In Crime News
    Good afternoon.  I am joined here today by Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke.
    [Read More…]
  • On International Day Commemorating Survivors of Religious Persecution
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Curaçao Independence Day
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • National Science Foundation: COVID-19 Affected Ongoing Construction of Major Facilities Projects
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found Since GAO's April 2020 report on the status of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) major facilities projects, the Large Hadron Collider High Luminosity Upgrade program began construction, and it along with the four other major facilities projects in construction (see figure), have weathered schedule delays associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. To partially account for increased costs associated with the pandemic, such as the cost of paying project staff while work is paused, NSF has authorized $38.9 million in total project cost increases to the award recipients constructing three of the five projects: $18.9 million for the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, $10.0 million for the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, and $10.0 million for Regional Class Research Vessels. Because the pandemic is ongoing and its full effects are not yet known, NSF expects to make further adjustments to the cost and schedule of all five major projects in construction. Design work on an additional major facility project continued without significant interruption from the pandemic. Further, NSF made awards to begin the agency's first three mid-scale research infrastructure projects. National Science Foundation Major Facilities Projects in Construction NSF has fully implemented GAO's prior recommendation on information sharing among award recipients and has drafted guidance or taken other steps towards addressing GAO's three remaining recommendations. To enhance information sharing among award recipients, NSF added a section to its terms and conditions in its major facilities agreements that encourages awardees to share information among awardees and participate in a knowledge management program. Why GAO Did This Study NSF supports the design, construction, and operations of science and engineering research infrastructure such as telescopes and research vessels. These projects include major facilities that cost over $100 million to construct or acquire, and mid-scale research infrastructure projects. Over the past 5 fiscal years, NSF has received over $1 billion in appropriations for these projects. Prior GAO reports reviewed NSF's oversight of the projects, its cost estimating and schedule policies, and the project management expertise of its oversight workforce. Senate Report 115-275, Senate Report 114-239, and House Report 114-605 included provisions for GAO to review and report annually on projects funded from NSF's Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction account. This report, the fourth, examines (1) the cost and schedule performance of NSF's ongoing major facilities and mid-scale research infrastructure projects and (2) the extent to which NSF has implemented prior GAO recommendations related to its management of major facilities. GAO reviewed NSF and award recipient documents for the projects. GAO examined policies and procedures to identify efforts to implement recommendations and interviewed NSF officials for clarifying information.
    [Read More…]
  • Global Health Security: USAID and CDC Funding, Activities, and Assessments of Countries’ Capacities to Address Infectious Disease Threats before COVID-19 Onset
    In U.S GAO News
    Pour la version française de cette page, voir GAO-21-484. What GAO Found As of March 31, 2020, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had obligated a combined total of more than $1.2 billion and disbursed about $1 billion for global health security (GHS) activities, using funds appropriated in fiscal years 2015 through 2019. USAID and CDC supported activities to help build countries' capacities in 11 technical areas related to addressing infectious disease threats. The obligated funding supported GHS activities in at least 34 countries, including 25 identified as Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) partner countries. U.S.-Supported Activities in Ethiopia to Strengthen Global Health Security U.S. officials' assessments of 17 GHSA partner countries' capacities to address infectious disease threats showed that at the end of fiscal year 2019, most countries had some capacity in each of the 11 technical areas but faced various challenges. U.S. interagency country teams produce biannual capacity assessments that USAID and CDC headquarters officials use to track the countries' progress. According to fiscal year 2019 assessment reports, 14 countries had developed or demonstrated capacity in most technical areas. In addition, the reports showed the majority of capacities in each country had remained stable or increased since 2016 and 2017. The technical area antimicrobial resistance showed the largest numbers of capacity increases—for example, in the development of surveillance systems. GAO's analysis of the progress reports found the most common challenges to developing GHS capacity were weaknesses in government institutions, constrained resources, and insufficient human capital. According to agency officials, some challenges can be overcome with additional U.S. government funding, technical support, or diplomatic efforts, but many other challenges remain outside the U.S. government's control. This is a public version of a sensitive report that GAO issued in February 2021. Information that USAID and CDC deemed sensitive has been omitted. Why GAO Did This Study The outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in December 2019 demonstrated that infectious diseases can lead to catastrophic loss of life and sustained damage to the global economy. USAID and CDC have led U.S. efforts to strengthen GHS—that is, global capacity to prepare for, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats and to reduce or prevent their spread across borders. These efforts include work related to the multilateral GHSA initiative, which aims to accelerate progress toward compliance with international health regulations and other agreements. House Report 114-693 contained a provision for GAO to review the use of GHS funds. In this report, GAO examines, for the 5 fiscal years before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, (1) the status of USAID's and CDC's GHS funding and activities and (2) U.S. agencies' assessments, at the end of fiscal year 2019, of GHSA partner countries' capacities to address infectious disease threats and of challenges these countries faced in building capacity. GAO analyzed agency, interagency, and international organization documents. GAO also interviewed agency officials in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, Georgia, and in Ethiopia, Indonesia, Senegal, and Vietnam. GAO selected these four countries on the basis of factors such as the presence of staff from multiple U.S. agencies. In addition, GAO analyzed interagency assessments of countries' capacities to address infectious disease threats in fiscal year 2019 and compared them with baseline assessments from 2016 and 2017. For more information, contact David Gootnick at (202) 512-3149 or gootnickd@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against Tampa-Area Physician, Pharmacy, and Clinic Owners for Controlled Substances Act Violations
    In Crime News
    The United States filed a civil complaint seeking to permanently enjoin the owners of a Tampa-area clinic and pharmacy from unlawfully dispensing opioids and other controlled substances, the Department of Justice announced today.
    [Read More…]
  • Clinical Researchers Sentenced in Connection with Scheme to Falsify Drug Trial Data
    In Crime News
    A federal judge sentenced a Florida nurse practitioner and a Florida woman to prison terms today in connection with their participation in a conspiracy to falsify data related to clinical drug trials.
    [Read More…]


Network News © 2005 Area.Control.Network™ All rights reserved.