Pompeo assails Iran's leaders, compares them to 'mafia'

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WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launched a rhetorical assault on Iran’s leaders on Sunday, comparing them to a “mafia” and promising unspecified backing for Iranians unhappy with their government.
Pompeo, in a California speech to a largely Iranian-American audience, dismissed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and foreign minister Javad Zarif, who negotiated a nuclear deal with the United States and five other countries, as “merely polished front men for the ayatollahs’ international con artistry.”

US President Donald Trump withdrew in May from the 2015 nuclear accord designed to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Iran “is run by something that resembles the mafia more than a government,” Pompeo said, citing what he called Iranian leaders’ vast wealth and corruption.

Pompeo’s speech was the latest step in a communications offensive launched by the Trump administration that is meant to foment unrest in Iran and help pressure its government to end its nuclear…

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