Mike Pompeo: US 'deeply concerned' over Iran 'threats'

Mike Pompeo: US 'deeply concerned' over Iran 'threats'

The 2015 agreement limited Iran's enrichment of uranium for nuclear fuel to help ensure it could not be turned to developing bomb material, and Tehran secured a removal of most worldwide sanctions in return. Israel says it will not allow Iran to establish a permanent military presence in Syria, fearing the Iranians use it to launch attacks.

Pompeo meets with Jordan's King Abdullah II in Amman on Monday before returning to Washington.

Pompeo replied, "You're an incredibly important partner, [and] occupy a special place in my heart too".

Pompeo, visiting Riyadh on his first trip as the top US diplomat, said he "stressed the importance" of Gulf unity in talks with Saudi officials. And in the almost 11 months since the embargo began, Qatar has spent millions of dollars on a Washington charm offensive that paid off earlier this month when its leader, Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, had an Oval Office meeting with Trump during which the President expressed strong support for the tiny country.

Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, cut off travel and trade ties with Qatar last June, accusing it of supporting terrorism and Iran.

Pompeo on Sunday accused Iran of destabilising the Middle East, including through its support for Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and Houthi rebels in Yemen.

"We've got a common challenge in Iran".

"Absent a substantial fix, absent overcoming the shortcomings, the flaws of the deal, he is unlikely to stay in that deal past this May", Pompeo said.

"The nuclear deal or any other subject under its pretext is not negotiable in any way", he told French President Emmanuel Macron in a phone call, quoted by the presidency's website.

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"Iran will not accept any restrictions beyond its commitments".

Iran has repeatedly said its ballistic missile programme has nothing to do with its nuclear work and is non-negotiable. Regime allies Iran and Russian Federation blamed Israel for the attack.

"Iran must be stopped, its quest for a nuclear bomb must be stopped, its aggression must be stopped and we're committed to stopping it together", Netanyahu said.

He added that the United States was "deeply concerned about Iran's risky escalation of threats to Israel and the region".

Referring to the US's decision to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Pompeo expressed his satisfaction and joked that "we are well ahead of the original timetable".

Senior Palestinian official Ahmed Majdalani told AFP news agency the policy of boycotting Trump's administration would continue.

Pompeo's visit also comes ahead of the deeply controversial move of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, planned for May 14.

The officials, who were not authorized to preview Pompeo's discussions with the Saudi leadership and spoke on condition of anonymity, said Iran's long- and medium-range missile programs had to be countered as part of efforts to strengthen the Iran nuclear deal, from which President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw by mid-May.

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