RIYADH (Reuters) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday for a hastily arranged visit to the Middle East. The United States seeks support for new sanctions against Iran.
The visit to Riyadh, Jerusalem and Amman, just two days after Pompeo was sworn in, comes about because President Donald Trump will decide whether to cancel the 2015 nuclear treaty with Iran, which is still backed by European powers should.
"We urge nations around the world to sanction individuals and organizations associated with the Iranian missile program, and it has also been a major part of discussions with Europeans," said Brian Hook, senior political consultant at Pompeo.
Hook said a volley of ballistic missiles fired by Yemen's Iran-unified Houthi movement in Saudi Arabia and killing a man on Saturday had been provided by Tehran.
"Iran's missiles are prolonging war and suffering in the Middle East, threatening our security and economic interests, and particularly threatening Saudi Arabia and Israel," he said.
Trump has described it as "the worst offer of all time" and threatened to recover sanctions if Britain, France and Germany disagree. The resumption of sanctions would probably nullify the deal.
Russia, China, Germany, Britain and France, all of whom have reached agreement with Iran and the United States, see the agreement as the best way to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.
After a meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers on Friday in Brussels, Pompeo Trump said that she had not made a decision whether to Deal, but she probably did not stick to it without significant changes.
"There was no decision, so the team is working and I'm sure we'll have a lot of talks to show what the president has made clear," Pompeo said at a press conference.
Earlier this week, French President Emmanuel Macron called on Trump not to give up the deal, though he later admitted that he believes he would quit.
The Trump administration is also reviewing the US role in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria's seven-year conflict. Trump has called on the Gulf States to provide funds and troops to stabilize the areas formerly controlled by the Syrian group.
Pompeo was one of the first Trump government officials to visit Saudi Arabia early in his tenure as CIA Director.
In Riyadh Pompeo was greeted on the tarmac by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. He is expected to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and King Salman during the visit.
(The story was rejected to correct a typo in the headline)
Edited by Noah Browning and Robin Pomeroy