US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has met with a senior Chinese official in Hawaii for talks aimed at easing tensions, but instead the US is increasing pressure on Beijing. Photo: AFP/Jim Watson

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was planning on Sunday to actively encourage the Iranian diaspora to “support” protesters in their homeland, AFP reported.

US President Donald Trump, who has indicated a desire for regime change in Tehran, decided on May 8 to reimpose the sanctions that had been lifted as part of multi-nation deal aimed at stopping Iran from building nuclear weapons.

Following the US withdrawal from the accord, which took even Washington’s closest European allies by surprise, Pompeo on May 21 unveiled a “new strategy” aimed at forcing Tehran to agree to a dozen demands or be hit with the “strongest sanctions in history.”

Pompeo was scheduled to deliver a speech on Sunday at the Ronald Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California, entitled “Supporting Iranian Voices.”

The venue for Pompeo’s address is significant, said a State Department official, who noted that about 250,000 Iranian-Americans live in Southern California.

“He will be exposing some of the corruption” of a “kleptocratic regime,” the official said. “The regime has prioritized its ideological agenda over the welfare of the Iranian people.”

Meanwhile, in Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Trump that if the US ever attacks his country the outcome will be catastrophic, The Independent reported.

Speaking to Iranian diplomats on Sunday, Rouhani said: “America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”

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