U.S. State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus told reporters May 23 that Washington’s “maximum pressure campaign” against Iran “is working” and it will continue until Tehran is willing to reach "a comprehensive new deal".
In her daily briefing for reporters, Ortagus said the U.S. campaign “is designed to deny the Iranian regime…the means to conduct its destructive foreign policy. Our campaign is working”.
She then went on to bring examples of how U.S. sanctions have denied funds for Iran resulting in financial limitations to Tehran’s proxies in the region.
Ortagus outlined how Hezbollah in Lebanon has been forced for the first time to resort to fund raising among ordinary people and the Palestinian Hamas to resort to austerity measures.
Iran is cutting the number of Hezbollah fighters in Syria or cutting their salaries, the spokesperson said and added that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has told militia forces in Iraq that their financial support will be reduced, and they must find other sources of income.
Although Ostagus did not mention her sources but she said that IRGC’s cyber command is also short of funds.
At the end, she announced, “We will continue to apply maximum pressure on the Iranian regime to deny it the means to conduct its destructive foreign policy and compel the regime to negotiate a comprehensive new deal that addresses the full scope of its maligned behavior.”
Earlier in the week, President Donald Trump sounded conciliatory, saying that the U.S. is not after “regime change” and can work with Iran’s current leadership if they are willing to negotiate.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, however, made it clear in a speech May 29 that Iran will not agree to negotiate about “the honor of the revolution”, which could mean Iran’s policy of supporting anti-Western, anti-Israeli forces.