The head of the CIA on Sunday denied his agency had any role in fomenting the recent anti-government protests in Iran but predicted the violent unrest “is not behind us”.
Mike Pompeo, appointed a year ago by US President Donald Trump to head the intelligence agency, told Fox News on Sunday that economic conditions in Iran “are not good”.
“That’s what caused the people to take to the streets,” he said. He blamed what he called Tehran’s “backward-looking” regime for turning a deaf ear to the voices of the people.
Asked about a claim by Iran’s prosecutor general, Mohammad Javad Montazeri, that a CIA official had coordinated with Israel and Saudi Arabia – Iran’s regional rivals – to work with exiled Iranian groups to stir dissent in Iran, Pompeo replied simply: “It’s false.”
“This was the Iranian people – started by them, created by them, continued by them, demanding a better set of living conditions and a break from the theocratic regime.”