Spokesperson Heather Nauert (L) speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dialogues with reporters in his plane while flying from Panama to Mexico, October 18, 2018.
(photo credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/POOL VIA REUTERS)
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in New York today to address a UN Security Council meeting on Iran, at which he is expected to ask its permanent members to "hold Tehran to account," according to US officials.
The Trump administration has waged a "maximum pressure" campaign on the Islamic republic over the last year, withdrawing from a nuclear pact with Iran endorsed by the Security Council and applying a broad set of sanctions on the state.
Pompeo is expected to take questions from the press after his remarks to the Council.
"Secretary Pompeo will underscore the Administration’s unyielding resolve to address the Iranian regime’s threats to international peace and security through their continued development and proliferation of ballistic missiles in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolutions," Robert Palladino, deputy spokesperson of the State Department said.
The administration says the goal of its new sanctions policy is to pressure Iran to fundamentally change its behavior and to roll back its proxy militias embroiled in battles across the region.
President Donald Trump tweeted in anticipation of the meeting, criticizing the Obama administration for the Iran deal.
"The Democrats and President Obama gave Iran 150 Billion Dollars and got nothing, but they can’t give 5 Billion Dollars for National Security and a Wall?" Trump wrote. The meeting comes after increased tension between the US and Iran. On Wednesday, Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned the US again
, the latest in a series of increasingly aggressive speeches against the Trump administration
since it reinstated economic sanctions.
"Everyone should be vigilant, because our enemy America is sly and evil ... and may have plans for 2019," Khamenei said. "But we are stronger than them and they will fail as they have in the past."
Two weeks ago, Iran launched a ballistic missile and Pompeo argued it was a violation of the UN Security Council 2231
, which prohibits Iran from launching rockets designed to carry nuclear weapons.
"Iran’s missile testing & missile proliferation is growing. We condemn this act and call upon Iran to cease these activities," Pompeo wrote on Twitter.