Pompeo stresses that Saudi Arabia's security is a priority for US
30 April, 2018, 02:16 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
"We are determined to make sure [Iran] never possesses a nuclear weapon", Mr. Pompeo said at a joint news conference in Riyadh with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.
During the state visit, Pompeo also assured Saudi Arabia that the US will follow through with President Trump's commitment to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear accord.
Meanwhile, Jubeir reiterated the need for more sanctions to be imposed on Iran due to its support for terrorism and missiles.
The ex-CIA chief had arrived in the kingdom a day earlier, shortly after Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen fired missiles at Saudi Arabia's southern city of Jizan, killing one person and underscoring what USA officials said is a growing threat emanating from Iran.
The tough line was welcomed by his hosts, particularly in Israel, which considers Iran its greatest threat and has led calls for the West to revise or reject the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
"Pompeo's early and quick trip to the region, particularly to Israel, is also a form of station identification that the new secretary of state intends to become a dominant force in Middle East policymaking", said Aaron David Miller, a former State Department official specializing in Middle East issues who is now at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
"Iran destabilises this entire region".
Trump has set a 12 May deadline to decide whether to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, something he appears likely to do despite heavy pressure to stay in from European and other parties.
Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have halted trade with Qatar, accusing the natural gas-rich nation of aiding terrorism and maintaining close ties with Iran.
He has called on Gulf allies to contribute funding and troops to stabilise areas in Iraq and Syria where a US -led coalition has largely defeated Islamic State jihadists.
Pompeo is the highest-level USA official to have spoken with North Korea's leader.
Pompeo replied, "You're an incredibly important partner, [and] occupy a special place in my heart too".
The 2015 agreement limited Iran's enrichment of uranium for nuclear fuel to help ensure it could not be turned to developing bomb material, and Tehran secured a removal of most global sanctions in return.
"We will continue to work with our European allies to fix that deal, but if a deal can not be reached, the president has said he will leave that deal", he said. "And by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the seed of its government, we are recognizing reality".
In the accord, reached by Iran and 6 world powers in 2015, Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of economic sanctions.
Iran has repeatedly said its ballistic missile programme has nothing to do with its nuclear work and is non-negotiable.
"The nuclear deal has failed to moderate the regime's conduct in many areas", Pompeo said, reading from written remarks and taking no questions from reporters. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy.
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