Pompeo seeks ‘global coalition’ against Iran
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in the Middle East on Monday as part of a surprise visit to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the aim of which is to forge a “global coalition” against Iran, the official said on Sunday. The aim of the coalition will be to deny Iran “the resources to foment terror, to build out their nuclear weapon system, to build out their missile program,” Pompeo elaborated.
However, Pompeo also said that the US is prepared to negotiate with Iran, thereby echoing statements made by US President Donald Trump who on Sunday said that he is “not looking for war” and that his government is “prepared to negotiate with no preconditions.” Pompeo is expected to announce new sanctions on Iran on Monday. However, a spokesman of Iran’s Foreign Ministry said that “all sanctions … have been imposed and there are no more sanctions left.”
US-Iran relations have been deteriorating ever since the United States pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal last year. The situation further escalated in recent weeks. Iran and the US have been targeting each other in offensive cyber campaigns, and last week Iran took down a US drone after the US accused Iran of carrying out the recent attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Iran has also warned that it will soon exceed the maximum amount of enriched uranium the country is allowed to store under the Iran deal.
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