Outlaw Regime: A Chronicle of Iran’s Destructive Activities

To access the full dossier, please click on this link to the Department of State’s Iran Action Group for all 48 pages

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I am pleased to release the State Department’s new report detailing the scope of the Iranian regime’s destructive behavior at home and abroad on the eve of the Islamic Revolution’s 40th anniversary. On May 8, 2018, President Donald J. Trump announced his decision to cease U.S. participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly referred to as the Iran deal. The Iran deal was proving to be a failed strategic bet that fell short of protecting the American people or our allies from the potential of an Iranian nuclear weapon. The futility of entrusting our long term security to an agreement that will quickly expire was underscored by the recent bombshell that Iran had secretly preserved its past nuclear weapons research after the implementation of the JCPOA. As if Iran’s long history of violating the Non-Proliferation Treaty and multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions on its nuclear program prior to the JCPOA was not reason enough for pause. Moreover, the JCPOA has plainly failed to contribute to regional and international peace and security, as the deal stated. To the contrary, Iran’s destabilizing behavior has grown bolder under the deal.

This is why President Trump took us on a new path. The policy President Trump has laid out comes to terms fully with the fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran is not a normal state. Normal states do not attack embassies and military installations in peacetime; fuel terrorist proxies and militias; serve as a sanctuary for terrorists; call for the destruction of Israel and threaten other countries; aid brutal dictators such as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad; proliferate missile technology to dangerous proxies; conduct covert assassinations in other countries; and hold hostage citizens of foreign nations. Normal states do not support terrorism within their armed forces, as Iran has done with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its Qods Force. Normal states do not abuse the international financial system and use commercial industry to fund and support terrorism. Normal states do not squander their own natural resources. Normal states do not violently suppress legitimate protests, jail their own citizens or those of other countries on specious crimes, engage in torture, and impose severe restrictions on basic freedoms.

Today, the United States is publishing a full record of the Islamic Republic’s hostile behavior abroad and its repression at home beyond the continued threat of its nuclear program. It is important for the world to understand the scope of the regime’s recklessness and malfeasance. It is important for the world to know that Iran trained and deployed Shia fighters from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to help Assad crack down on innocent civilians in Syria. It is important for the world to know that Iran’s Central Bank Governor has allowed the movement of millions of dollars through banks to support the Qods Force and Hizballah. It is important for the world to know that hundreds of universities around the world fell victim to an IRGC-led cyberattack that resulted in the theft of intellectual property. It is important for the world to know that public executions, including of children, are still common in Iran, and citizens are routinely subjected to unfair trials where confessions extracted by torture are often the only evidence allowed. It is important for us to know these things and remember them. The international community does not stand for this type of behavior from any state, and we should not make an exception for Iran.

Withdrawing from a deal that gave the Iranian regime undeserved standing and turned a blind eye to its destructive activities is only one step in recognizing the Iranian threat and holding it to account. Now we must begin the hard work of pursuing the pre-JCPOA consensus: that only after the Iranian regime refrains from inflicting chaos on innocent people can it gain acceptance as a normal state in the international community.

We will engage with any nation prepared to take a stand with us against the chaos and brutality that Iran imposes on its citizens and spreads in spades around the world. We know many countries share our concerns and our yearnings for a more secure and stable Middle East, as well as a freer Iran. We encourage nations and businesses across the world to examine the record enclosed here, and answer the call to address the challenge of Iran head-on.

The United States is moving quickly. In May 2018, we laid out twelve specific demands for the Iranian regime related to its nuclear and missile programs, support for terrorism, threats to its neighbors, and unjust detention of U.S. and other foreign citizens. We are re-imposing sanctions to exact intense financial pressure on the Iranian regime as we seek a new diplomatic solution. We will work in concert with our allies and partners to deter Iranian aggression. We will continue to advocate for the Iranian people.

Our end goal is not an Iran that remains forever isolated. Iran is a society with so much greater potential. We want to reach a new agreement with Iran that ensures its nuclear activities are peaceful and that its role in the Middle East is constructive. We seek a deal that ensures Iran does not support terrorism around the world and provides for greater opportunity to its own people. We are prepared to work with the Iranian regime, but only if it makes major changes.

Until then, the Iranian regime can rest assured of our firm resolve to counter their destabilizing activities. Given the record we have published today, they should expect nothing less.

Michael R. Pompeo