Iran says U.S. call for pressure on Tehran 'absurd and dumb'
"That was another act of propaganda by the Americans to justify their illegal departure from the international nuclear deal," Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said on Monday.
Pompeo's "absurd and dumb" speech will not have any influence on public opinion in Iran, Ghasemi said, adding that the Iranian people will never allow foreign interference in the country's internal affairs.
In a speech in Los Angeles looking toward the 40th anniversary of Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979, Pompeo described Iranian justice and military officials and ayatollahs as "hypocritical holy men" who had enriched themselves through cronyism or outright embezzlement.
The top diplomat, speaking at the Ronald Reagan Foundation and Library ahead of a meeting with leaders of the US-Iranian community, also highlighted recent protests in Iran, saying that recurring public demonstrations since December are "the most enduring and forceful protests since 1979," the year Iran's Islamic Republic was founded.
While not directly calling for a change in government, Pompeo urged international support for Washington's effort to economically pressure the Iranian government.
"We are asking every nation who is sick and tired of the Islamic Republic's destructive behaviour to join our pressure campaign - this especially goes for our allies in the Middle East and Europe, people who have themselves been terrorized by the violent regime's activity for decades," Pompeo said. ■