President Donald Trump has given the most hawkish members of his administration, among them Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the green light to pummel the Iranian regime in the remaining weeks of his presidency as long as it doesn’t risk a full-fledged war, the Daily Beast reported on Tuesday.
Trump has given his officials carte blanche against Iran on the condition that they don’t risk “starting World War III,” as the president has specifically put it in several private conversations with Pompeo and others, two senior administration officials told the Daily Beast.
According to the report, Trump’s broad-range directive has left numerous options at the outgoing administration’s disposal, including additional sanctions and silence in the face of the assassination of regime officials. Two officials who spoke to the Daily Beast said the administration is preparing to unveil harsh new sanctions on regime-linked companies and individuals in the coming weeks.
Sources told the news outlet that those actions are designed to make it more difficult for Democrat Joe Biden to renew nuclear talks with Tehran.
Trump administration officials who spoke to the Daily Beast frequently point to Pompeo and Elliott Abrams, special representative for Iran, as the leaders of the administration’s last-ditch attempt to squeeze the ayatollah regime.