- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 25, 2019

KABUL — In a secret visit to Afghanistan Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo underscored the administration’s commitment to peace and rebuked Iran for it’s “destabilizing” influence here and around the world.

Asked if he could provide specific examples of Iran’s escalation of involvement to undermine peace in Afghanistan, Mr. Pompeo said he “can’t share a lot more.”

But he blasted the regime in Tehran for sowing violence and discord around the world.

“For more than 40 years, Iran has engaged in terror around the world,” he said. “They continue to be the largest destabilizing force throughout.

Furthermore, Mr. Pompeo said, Iran should welcome peace and stability in a country with which it shares a border more than 500 miles long.

“It is not in Iran’s best interest to undermine the peace process,” he said. “I would hope that they would see that it is in every regional players’ best interest that this peace process move forward.”

“After 18 years, this is something that makes no sense for all of the countries in the region.”

Mr. Pompeo said he had not heard Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s latest attack on the Trump administration, saying that the White House is “afflicted by mental retardation.”

But he called the remarks immature and childlike.

As for Iran’s declaration that diplomacy is dead after heightened economic sanctions placed by the Trump Administration, Mr. Pompeo said that will do nothing to deter the Trump Administration’s commitment to maximum economic pressure on Tehran.

• Charles Hurt can be reached at churt@washingtontimes.com.

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