By Arab News
By Noor Nugali
New US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Sunday for concerted international action to curb Iran’s regional meddling and halt its missile programs.
“Iran destabilizes this entire region,” Pompeo said in joint remarks with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir on a visit to Riyadh.
“It supports proxy militias and terrorist groups. It is an arms dealer to the Houthi rebels in Yemen. It supports the murderous Assad regime as well.”
Iran supplies ballistic missiles fired into Saudi Arabia by Houthi militants in Yemen, most recently on Saturday, and Pompeo — on his first overseas trip since being confirmed in his new post last week — said Saudi security was a US priority.
“We will continue to work closely with our Saudi partners to counter threats to this country’s security. That, of course, starts with Iran,” he said.
Pompeo said US President Donald Trump would abandon the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran unless talks with European partners yield improvements to ensure Tehran never possesses nuclear weapons. The deadline for a decision on the deal is May 12.
“Unlike the prior administration we will not neglect the vast scope of Iran’s terrorism,” Pompeo said. “We are determined to make sure that it never possess a nuclear weapon. The Iran deal in its current form does not provide that assurance.”
Trump’s policy backed
Al-Jubeir said Saudi Arabia supported the Trump administration’s policy on the nuclear agreement. “Iran must face the consequences of its constant interference in our region,” he said.
Trump has also called on Gulf allies to contribute funding and troops to stabilize areas in Iraq and Syria where a US-led coalition has largely defeated Daesh terrorists. Al-Jubeir said this month that Saudi Arabia would be prepared to send troops into Syria under the US-led coalition.
Pompeo said: “We will sit down and talk about … how to best make sure that this is not America alone working on this, it’s the Gulf states working alongside us.”
The secretary of state held talks in Riyadh with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, before flying to Israel to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.