Speaking at a summit hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Thursday, CIA director Mike Pompeo warned that North Korea is close to having the ability to strike the U.S. mainland with an ICBM, and spoke at length about the multi-faceted danger posed by the Iranian regime.

To support President Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal, Pompeo referenced several transgressions from Iran, specifically with their support for terrorist groups like Hezbollah, and other covert activities around the world designed to sow instability and further Iranian influence in places like Iraq and Syria.

x“[President Trump] Asked us to evaluate how we might present a more comprehensive effort to push back against the Quds Force, the IRGC more broadly, and the Iranian regime itself.

“The notion that entry into the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal) would curtail Iranian adventurism, or their terror threat, or their malignant behavior, has now two years on proven to be fundamentally false.”

Pompeo said Iran has consistently developed their missile programs and testing operations, but their arming of Hezbollah and Houthi rebels in Yemen are “new and aggressive” and show “no signs of having been curtailed”.

When asked what pushing back against Iran would look like, Pompeo said by using all tools available to U.S. power. “It has been far too inexpensive for the Iranians to conduct this adventurism. We should raise the cost of that.”

With regard to North Korea, Pompeo reiterated that the Trump administration desires a diplomatic solution to the crisis, but that a military option remains viable. With regard to the North Korean nuclear program “They are closer now than they were five years ago. I expect they’ll be closer in five months than they are today, absent a global effort to push back against them.” Pompeo said.

The White House is using North Korea as a model for Iran relations

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North Korea is “close enough now in their capabilities that from a U.S. policy perspective we ought to behave as if we are on the cusp of them achieving that objective.”

“When you’re now talking about months our capacity to understand that at a detailed level is in some sense irrelevant.” He added.

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