US Secretary of State addresses Iran during visit to Jordan; Iran working towards second space launch, despite US warning and sanctions; EU places sanctions on Iran for assassination plots in Europe.
The United States is “redoubling” both diplomatic and commercial efforts to “put real pressure on Iran”.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo clarified the United States’ strategy for Iran in combatting its nuclear program and efforts in the region amidst the United States withdrawal from Syria.
Pompeo reiterated the United States’ commitment and action to combat Iran and ISIS as US troops begin the process of leaving Syria. Speaking in Jordan following a meeting with Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi on Tuesday as part of his Middle East tour, the official stated “The most significant threat to the region is Daesh [ISIS] and the Islamic revolution and their revolutionary efforts in the region. There is an enormous agreement on the risk that poses to Jordan and other countries in the neighborhood… The President’s decision to withdraw our folks from Syria in no way impacts our capacity to deliver on that…”
He added that in the coming days and weeks, the United States will be “redoubling” both diplomatic and commercial efforts to combat Iran.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to Pompeo’s remarks on Wednesday, claiming the United States’ “pure obsession with Iran is more and more like the behavior of persistently failing psychotic stalkers. In effect, [the] US is substituting a real foreign policy with Iran-obsession and phobia.”
Meanwhile, satellite images were released showing Iran’s ongoing work towards launching a remote sensing satellite into space from the Imam Khomeini Space Center. Iran intends to launch three Space Launch Vehicles, a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231. Last week, Pompeo called on the Islamic Republic to “cease all activities related to ballistic missiles in order to avoid deeper economic and diplomatic isolation.” He warned Iran that the “United States will not stand by and watch the Iranian regime’s destructive policies place international stability and security at risk.”
Iran continues to develop and test its ballistic missile program despite its violation of international law and the nuclear agreement. Iran launched a rocket into space in 2017, the action condemned by the United States and some European states. It has been developing its ballistic and space programs since, despite warnings and sanctions from the United States.
Also on Tuesday, the European Union placed sanctions on Iran for its attempt to assassinate regime opponents in Europe. The sanctions target Iran’s intelligence ministry and include the freezing of funds and financial assets.
Pompeo will continue his tour in the region and will travel to Bahrain, Egypt, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Photo: lev radin/Shutterstock.com