With the Trump administration moving ahead Monday with punishing new sanctions against Iran with the goal of completely halting the country\u0026#039;s oil exports, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly joked about a secret White House plot to overthrow the Iranian government during a private meeting with Iranian-American \u0022community leaders.\u0022According to Axios, when asked last week whether the Trump administration has considered \u0022the idea of a coup\u0022 in Iran, Pompeo responded: \u0022Even if we did, would I be telling you guys about it?\u0022\u0022Trump\u0026#039;s so-called \u0026#039;maximum pressure\u0026#039; campaign is destroying the livelihoods of ordinary Iranians and creating an increasingly intolerable situation for the country.\u0022 —Jamal Abdi, National Iranian American CouncilThe room \u0022broke out in laughter,\u0022 Axios reported, citing three anonymous sources in attendance, including one who shared \u0022detailed contemporaneous notes\u0022 with the news outlet.The secretary of state also reportedly said the administration is \u0022careful not to use the language of regime change\u0022 and insisted the U.S. has no plans to intervene militarily in Iran.Pompeo\u0026#039;s remarks came exactly one week before the Trump administration is unveiled sanctions against all countries that continue to import Iranian oil, a significant escalation of the Trump administration\u0026#039;s so-called \u0022maximum pressure\u0022 campaign against Iran.\u0022As of May 2, the State Department will no longer grant sanctions waivers to any country that is currently importing Iranian crude or condensate,\u0022 the Washington Post\u0026#039;s Josh Rogin reported on Sunday.According to a senior State Department official who spoke to the Post on condition of anonymity, \u0022The policy of zero Iranian imports originated with Secretary Pompeo. He has executed this policy in tight coordination with the president every step of the way.\u0022\u0022Trump\u0026#039;s so-called \u0026#039;maximum pressure\u0026#039; campaign is destroying the livelihoods of ordinary Iranians and creating an increasingly intolerable situation for the country,\u0022 Jamal Abdi, president of the National Iranian American Council, said in a statement. \u0022Indeed, the decision to end Iranian oil waivers comes as large parts of Iran are reeling from devastating floods that have displaced hundreds of thousands. Instead of ensuring that U.S. sanctions aren’t obstructing humanitarian aid to flood victims, Trump is now piling on even more economic pressure on the Iranian people.Tyler Cullis, policy associate at NIAC, called the Trump administration\u0026#039;s sanctions policy \u0022evil\u0022 and said the goal is to force Iran to walk away from the international nuclear accord, which the White House violated last year.\u0022There has been no more significant foreign influence campaign than the one to get the United States into a war with Iran,\u0022 Cullis argued.Escalating the crisis and forcing Iran to withdraw is the entire point. https://t.co/bkQk59a0Ry— Tyler Cullis (@TylerCullis) April 21, 2019During his meeting with Iranian-American community leaders last week, Pompeo was reportedly asked how he could guarantee the U.S. sanctions against Iran would not harm the Iranian people.\u0022There are no guarantees,\u0022 Pompeo responded, according to Axios.This article has been updated with comment from National Iranian American Council president Jamal Abdi.