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  Secretary of State Pompeo Remarks at Centcom Headquarters  CSPAN  June 18, 2019 2:33pm-2:44pm EDT

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on c-span2, online at c-span.org or listen live on the free c-span radio app. >> and coming up this afternoon a senate foreign relations panel will get an update on russia's activities in ukraine, fife years after the annexation of crimea. the hearing getting a late start. live coverage starting at 3:15 p.m. eastern here on c-span3. online at c-span.org or you can listen to the free c-span radio app or a tweet from president trump acting secretary of defense patrick shanahan who has done a wonderful job and has decided not to go forward to his confirmation process so he can devote more time to his family. he'll be naming secretary of the army mark esper. i have confidence in him and
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know he'll do a terrific job. >> mike pompeo spoke to reporters earlier about ongoing military teches with iran. his remarks came from the command headquarters in tampa, florida. good afternoon, everyone. thank you all for joining me here today. i had a good evening and a really good morning. i spent time getting briefed by generals at centcom and general clark and his team at socom. the purchase of my visit was to
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come down here and visit and make sure that the state department and the department of defense were across a whole broad range of issues and we discussed the ongoing tenth in the gulf and if we're to deliver on the president's diplomatic objectives we have to be tightly woven with general mckenzie, and general clark to make sure they were doing just that. we had extensive conversations about tactical operation and strategic levels of work between our two organizations to make sure that when we present options and alternatives to president trump we do it in a way that's coherent, consistent and leads the president to a fuller understanding of the challenges and opportunities kecked connected to the decisions that he makes. we spoke about the challenges in iran. we talked about the centcom
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decision that secretary shanahan and the president approved to move a thousand more americans into theater to make sure that we were in a position to do the right thing which is to continue to work, to convince the islamic republic of iran to prove we are serious and to deter further detention in the region. since the beginning at minh station to convince the iranian regime to not continue with the nuclear program and all of the missiles and the activities that they've been engaged in around the world. that's why we put in place the pressure campaign that's now been ongoing for a year and a couple of months and it's been very effective and now we need to make sure that we continue to do that so that we ultimately get the opportunity to convince iran that it's not in their best interest to behave in a way. we all have to remember that this isn't just 2 and a half years and this is 40 years that
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has led us to this point and to re-establish deterrence is a challenge and one they know the trump administration is up to and we're working hard every day with the united states government to achieve that and with that i'm happy to take a couple of questions. >> yes, ma'am? [ inaudible question ] >> almost certainly president trump had sent president abe to tack a message of his to the leadership in iran. you have to remember, these are messages for the leadership and i think the iranian people are being woefully misserved by the leadership and yes, we have been engaged in many messages and even this moment right here communicating to iran that we are there to deter aggression and president trump does not want war, and we will continue to communicate that message while doing the things that are
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necessary to protect american interests in the region. [ inaudible question ] >> you've said sunday that you were going to provide that. when are we expected to see that? >> we'll continue to provide additional information on those attacks. we shouldn't focus just those two attacks and since the beginning of may there are half dozen different instances of attacks and some thwarted and not successfully thwarted and they had an impact and i say just when i walked in here angela merkel that there was strong evidence that iran had engaged in activity and we'll continue to work with partners all around the world. it's worth reminding everyone here, you have china that depends on the strait of hormuz. you have south coria, indonesia, japan and all of whom have an enormous interest in ensuring there's a freedom of navigation
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and the united states is prepared to do its part and every nation that has a deep interest in protecting that shipping lane so that energy can move around the world and support their economies and make sure they understand to their interest in the region and the real threat to their country's economies if we're not successful in doing that. >> because of where this is occurring it falls in u.s. central command. what do you say of the families of the men and women who are within that demand about what may come over the next year or two? >> the first year i would do is say thank you to them for their service to the nation. many of these men and women are down to where they have put us in the place to where we have the opportunity to deter iran and what i say to them is what i say to everyone engaged in this kind of service. america is deeply a fresh tiff and we are providing them what
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they need to be successful and to engage them, and thank them for their willingness and them them for taking the risk that every service member faces and i remind our diplomats and they too face diplomats. when i speak to the dim mats i tell them the same thing i would like to share at centcom and thank them for their amazing professionalism and their work and their willingness to serve america in these challenging times. >> many secretarr. secretary, t has said that he would consider going to war over iran obtaining weapons and was that discussed here at centcom? you said military ogz aptions w being considered? >> one of the purposes of my
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visit to make sure we were coordinated and the strategic outcome falls on all of us and the state department has the first order on that and we can't do that without making sure that we have the capability to respond if iran makes a bad decision. if it makes a decision to go after an american or an american interest or to continue to proliferate its nuclear weapons program and so we talked about a broad range of issues here today across all of that spectrum. i know that the soldiers, sailor, airmen and marines are ready to respond to any threat that the islamic republic of iran and how to prepare those options for the president of the united states. >> mr. secretary, what's the advantage to come here to tampa to talk with generals rather than talk with generals at the pentagon and should your trip here be a message to iran? >> i talk to generals at the pentagon, too. they're not mutually exclusive
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options and it was important for me to get into the headquarters and make sure we didn't have to send a whole bunch of folks to meet me, and i met with not only those two leaders, but with their teams and how the state department is thinking about these problems and how we're delivering deterrence in the region and reinforcing the objectives of the united states of america and it was important and valuable for me to get here so i can talk to a broader range of leaders and at a more gradual level with the great work that they're engage in. >> i'll take one more. >> anything to say to that? >> i don't have anything to add to that. i'll say only this. it is the case in maa we had 140,000 illegal immigrants enter into the nation unlawfully. it is an important undertaking to make sure we have security and sovereignty, every action is
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designed to do just that. i worked personally on an arrangement with mexico now a week and a few days ago. i am confidence that we will get that under control, and it is important. it's important for america and national security that we do achieve that. thank you all. at a news conference today senate minority leader chuck schumer talked about the trump administration policy toward iran and ongoing tensions. senator schumer said instead of having a campaign rally tonight, the president should brief the country about his plans toward iran. [ inaudible question ]