As part of the question and answer session following his Landon Lecture at Kansas State University on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked about how the State Department is handling Middle Eastern policy and more specifically, what it plans to do in light of Iran’s proxy wars in that region.

“We’ve undertaken a significant effort trying to unlock the riddle of peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” said Pompeo. “More to follow, a difficult problem, ultimately those two peoples will
have to solve for themselves, but we’ve worked hard on that.”

Pompeo said he hopes to see the United States announce their vision for that situation in the next few weeks. He also said that the regime in Iran is the central problem in the Middle East causing instability.

“If you look at the conflicts, whether it’s the difficulty that Iraq has in standing up its own sovereign independence, the problem is the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said Pompeo. “If you look at Israel’s
security along its northern border, it’s Hezbollah, underwritten by Iran. If you stare at Syria today, it was the Iranian Revolutionary Guard corps that drove Assad’s regime to successfully cause 6 million persons to be displaced.”

Pompeo also cited the Houthi rebels use of Iranian-backed rockets in its war with Saudi Arabia as a source of problems, possibly even for some Kansas State students, if they would choose to intern in

“You see what we’re doing in the Strait of Hormuz today, trying to create a situation where’s there’s less risk that there will be conflict,” said Pompeo. “The second mission has been to deny the Iranian regime the wealth and resources to inflict their terror campaigns around the world. They are, in fact, the world’s largest state sponsor of terror. They have an active assassination campaign taking place in European capitals even as we speak. They’re underwriting Hezbollah in Argentina and Brazil. This is a regime that has a revolutionary flavor and our mission set is to create the conditions where their behavior will change.”

Pompeo said President Trump is willing to meet with them if that would help.