×
E-PAPER ▾

E-paper

Trending News

Pompeo talks tough on Iran while visiting the Emirates

| | Abu Dhabi
Pompeo talks tough on Iran while visiting the Emirates

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said today that America and its Gulf Arab allies want to show Iran that its actions have "a real high cost," stepping up his warnings after Tehran threatened to disrupt Mideast oil supplies.

Pompeo's comments came during a short trip to the United Arab Emirates, a staunch US ally that hosts some 5,000 American forces at a crucial air base and the US Navy's busiest foreign port of call.

He stopped short of offering any specifics during an interview with Sky News Arabia, an Arab satellite news channel half owned by Abu Dhabi ruling family member Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a UAE deputy prime minister.

However, his message undoubtedly reached receptive ears. The UAE long has been suspicious of Iran and its nuclear deal with world powers, from which President Donald Trump recently pulled out.

"The one that we are most focused on today is ... That we deny Iran the financial capacity to continue this bad behaviour," Pompeo said. "So it's a broad range, a series of sanctions aimed not at the Iranian people, but rather aimed at the single mission of convincing the Iranian regime that its malign behavior is unacceptable and has a real high cost for them."

Pompeo made a point to mention recent threats by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani over the Strait of Hormuz, through which a third of all oil traded by sea passes. While in Europe last week, Rouhani said any disruption to Iran's oil exports would result in the whole region's exports being disrupted.

Iran "should know that America is committed to keeping sea lines open, keeping the transit of oil available for the entire world," Pompeo said. "That's the commitment we have had for decades. We continue under that commitment." In Tehran, Iran's deputy parliament speaker Ali Motahari praised Rouhani for making the threat.

"The American are not ready for any new war in the Persian Gulf so the president's remark was a good threat which will have positive impacts and will be a deterrent factor against cutting Iran's oil export," Motahari said, according to a report on parliament's website.

Global oil prices have risen on the expectation that the United States will push its allies to stop importing Iranian crude oil, further tightening the world energy supplies. While allies like Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait say they are willing to increase their own production as necessary, additional output may not be enough to satiate demand.

Already, regular gasoline prices in the US are USD 2.86 a gallon, up from USD 2.26 the year before, according to AAA. Trump himself has been tweeting that oil suppliers must do more to lower prices ahead of midterm elections this fall.

US benchmark crude traded near USD 75 a barrel today, while Brent crude traded near USD 80.

While State Department officials earlier acknowledged that some allies will get waivers to continue importing Iranian oil, Pompeo seemed to strike a harder line today.   He warned such imports largely would be "sanctionable activity and we will enforce those sanctions." "We will consider (waivers) but make no mistake about it: We are determined to convince the Iranian leadership that this malign behaviour won't be rewarded and that the economic situation in the country will not be permitted to be rectified until such time that they become a more-normal nation," he said.

Among the top importers of Iranian oil are China, India, Turkey and South Korea. In a separate interview with Abu Dhabi's English-language newspaper The National, also owned by Sheikh Mansour, Pompeo targeted Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Solemani leads the expeditionary Quds Force of Iran's hard-line paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

"Qassem Soleimani is causing trouble throughout Iraq and Syria and we need to raise the cost for him — for his organization and for him personally," Pompeo said, without elaborating.

Pompeo met Abu Dhabi's powerful crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan while on his short trip to the UAE. He also stopped by the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

Pompeo, who earlier visited Afghanistan, Japan, North Korea and Vietnam on his trip, left the UAE heading for a NATO summit in Brussels that Trump will attend.

 
 
 
 
 

TOP STORIES

Sunday Edition

View All

Dabholkar murder case: Sharpshooter in CBI net

19 Aug 2018 | TN RAGHUNATHA | Mumbai

Five years after the renowned rationalist Narendra Dabholkar was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen in Pune, the CBI on Saturday arrested one of the sharp-shooters who allegedly pulled the trigger. Identiying the arrested person as one Sachin Prakashrao Andure from Aurangabad, a senior official said that Andure was one of the sharp-shooters who allegedly shot Dr Dabholkar...

Read More

STATE EDITIONS

View All

Ranchi girl wins Int’l beauty contest

19 Aug 2018 | PNS | Ranchi

Yet another girl from the Capital City Khushboo Vijay became the winner of Miss India International Global 2018 and will be representing India next year in Malaysia 2019 for World Finale. The event was held in Guwahati on August 2018...

Read More

Page generated in 0.3337 seconds.