United States deeply concerned by Iran’s destabilising and malign activities: Pompeo

Vastavam web: The United States is deeply concerned by Iran’s “destabilising and malign activities”, new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday.Pompeo was speaking on a flying visit to the region, where he had earlier met with Saudi King Salman in Riyadh and stressed the need for unity among Gulf allies as Washington aims to muster support for new sanctions against Iran.

Speaking alongside the Israeli leader, Pompeo said in Tel Aviv: “We remain deeply concerned about Iran’s dangerous escalation of threats towards Israel and the region.”He added: “Strong cooperation with close allies like (Israel) is critical to our efforts to counter Iran’s destabilising and malign activities through the Middle East, and indeed, throughout the world.”

Netanyahu echoed Pompeo’s focus on Iran, stressing the closeness of U.S. and Israeli cooperation on the issue.“I think the greatest threat to the world and to our two countries, and to all countries, is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons, and specifically the attempt of Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. We have had a very productive talk today on this subject,” he said.

“Iran destabilises this entire region. It supports proxy militias and terrorist groups. It is an arms dealer to the Houthi rebels in Yemen. It supports the murderous Assad regime (in Syria) as well,” he said in joint remarks with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.Pompeo also addressed the rift between Qatar and its neighbours, telling reporters after leaving Riyadh: “We are hopeful that they will, in their own way, figure out how to remove the dispute between them.”

Doha has denied the accusations and has said its three fellow Gulf countries aim to curtail its sovereignty. Iran denies supporting terrorism or having sought to develop nuclear weapons.The United States, which has military bases in both Qatar and some of the countries lined up against it, is trying to mediate the Qatar feud. Trump publicly sided with the Saudis and Emiratis early in the crisis, but is now pushing for a resolution to maintain a united front against Iran.

Yemen’s armed Iranian-aligned Houthi movement has fired over 100 missiles into Saudi Arabia, the latest salvo killing a man on Saturday in the southern Saudi province of Jizan.