WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the government in Iran has become a nightmare for the Iranian people.
He added that United Sates is not afraid to attack the Iranian regime at its highest level as he urged all U.S. allies to join in financially suppressing the government.
Pompeo spoke to an audience at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Sunday, filled with Iranian-Americans.
He said the Trump administration will not stay silent against what he calls the numerous crimes and abuses of the Iranian government.
This includes kleptocracy, with Pompeo saying those at the top have squandered the people's wealth on terrorism and theft and a zeal to spread the Islamic revolution to other nations.
He said the Iranian economy is "going great," but only for the elite, accusing the ayatollahs and senior leaders of lining their pockets to the tune of billions of dollars while a third of Iranians live in poverty.
While Pompeo was speaking about the lack of free speech in Iran, he was interrupted by a heckler. The secretary stood by calmly before remarking that Iranians should have the same kind of freedom of expression.
The secretary also announced that the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees the Voice of America, is taking new steps to help Iranians get around internet censorship. The BBG is also launching a new 24/7 Farsi-language channel across television, radio, digital, and social media formats.
He said the goal of the United States is to see Iranians inside their own country live the same kind of life Iranians in the United States enjoy.