Iran is responsible for at least some of the coronavirus-related deaths in its country because the regime has funded terrorism and has not invested in healthcare, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Newsmax TV.
During an appearance on "The Chris Salcedo Show" Tuesday morning, Pompeo tore into the Iranian leadership for not taking care of its own people and instead targeting Americans serving overseas.
"This is a tragedy that has struck the Iranian people. Part of the loss of life that will occur there is a direct result of the regime not having invested in their healthcare system but rather having invested in Hezbollah and terror campaigns around the world," Pompeo said.
The full interview with Pompeo will reair at 5 p.m. EST on "The Chris Salcedo Show."
"This is not the time to throw a bunch of cash at the Iranian regime. It won't work," Pompeo concluded. "That cash would [be] siphoned off for corruption, it will end up in the hands of arms merchants, it will end up in the hands of the Shia militias and Hezbollah."
As of Tuesday morning, Iran claimed to have around 75,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 4,600 deaths tied to the illness. However, officials there are accused of under-reporting the data.
The U.S. government has offered humanitarian assistance to Iran, which was turned down. Pompeo, however, said the Trump administration has had some success in delivering food via other countries.
"We have supported other countries too as they've tried to move humanitarian assistance there. We've been somewhat successful in getting that product to move and getting it to the Iranian people," he said. "We need to do everything we can to help the Iranian people move through this virus problem, but we shouldn't do a thing to provide resources or funding to a regime that presents real risk to American soldiers."
He added, "we should never, ever do anything that would fuel the Iranian regime's capacity to put terror around the world and risk American lives."
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