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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Pompeo warns Iran of high price!

  • Secretary of State says America is committed to keeping Gulf open.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday 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 in an interview with Sky News Arabia during a short trip to the UAE. The secretary of state said the US administration is committed to curbing the evil behaviour of the Iranian regime, and the reach of Tehran's militias in Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.

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."

Talking about Iranian activities to destabilise countries such as Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria, the secretary of state said the US will work to curtail such evil ambitions.

"It is great to have wonderful partners like the UAE and Saudi Arabia and other countries. The Bahrainis are also working with us to deter the Iranian designs. We are working to undermine the Houthis in Yemen and Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon

He said the US will stop Iranian-backed activity of firing ballistic missiles from Yemen, targeting the whole of GCC.

Hailing the Arab coalition for standing for legitimacy of Yemen, Pompeo said the American priority is to prevent the Houthi militias from acquiring weapons that could threaten the region.

"In Iraq and Syria, Shia militias tend to inflict real harm to citizens, so we are planning to tackle this. At the moment, we are concentrating on depriving Iran of its financial capabilities that help the regime carry out its evil designs."

Pompeo said the US is planning a series of sanctions, which would not target the Iranian people, but would force the Iranian regime to realise that its malicious behaviour is no more acceptable, and will result in a real high cost.

America will guarantee that the world is committed to fulfilling the sanctions the US imposes on Iran, he said, adding that buying the Iranian oil post-November 4 will be deemed an infringement of the US sanctions.

Talking about Iranian meddling in Syria, Pompeo said: "Iran must get out of Syria. There is no reason for them to be there."

He said Washington would strive to negotiate the return of six million displaced Syrians to go back home and begin reconstruction of their country.

In a separate interview, Pompeo targeted Iranian General 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 organisation and for him personally," Pompeo said, without elaborating.

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