A few days after the US Senate approved Mike Pompeo’s appointment as US Secretary of State on April 29; he visited some US allies in the Middle East. On his visit, Pompeo went on part of his first tour in the footsteps of the President Donald Trump, who chose to start his overseas tour from Saudi Arabia and then Israel noting that is the same route that Pompeo has taken on his current tour, which, according to many observers , is a link between the two visited countries and their special status in the new US policy.
In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and the United States agreed on the importance of improving Iran’s nuclear deal and stopping Tehran’s destabilizing activities in the region. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said at a press conference with his counterpart Pompeo after the latter’s meeting with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz ” the period in which a restriction on the amount of uranium enrichment must be canceled and be for ever , “referring to the western items that Trump criticized since the first day to announce his candidacy for the US elections in March last year. This Saudi-US political meeting, in turn, led Pompeo to announce that the current administration would not ignore the Iranian regime’s extensive terror as its predecessor did, as Tehran is working to destabilize the region and support militias and terrorist groups, “remarks that involve stinging criticism of the administration of former US President Barack Obama. Because it has signed the agreement on July 14, 2015.
The tour of the three stations represented an opportunity for further mobilization in favor of the so-called deal of the century and against Iran and the nuclear agreement with it, as read by the statements of official officials. The focus of Pompeo on the Iranian file is great in all the statements he launched during the tour, where he launched insults to the previous agreement and vowed to change or withdraw from it, and to counter Iran’s influence in the region. It is the same tone that he has said in Riyadh and Jerusalem in particular with more demands for rigor and intensity with Iran’s influence and its ballistic missiles.
US President Donald Trump is working on a comprehensive strategy that focuses, in addition to Iran’s nuclear file to “confront a wide range of non-nuclear threats, such as Iranian missile systems, support for Hezbollah, the export of thousands of proxy fighters to Syria and its aid to the rebels in Yemen. The USA aspires to ” “Working closely with stronger allies, such as Israel, in the face of threats and to reduce the full scope of the malignant Iranian influence,” as Mike Pompeo said , whose appointment was approved by the US Senate on April 26 as secretary of state, the most influential figures in American decision-making , along with President Donald Trump , meet in a coherent vision of the Iranian issue, Iran’s role and influence in the region On the other hand, from Saudi capital , Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo said during his joint press conference with his Saudi counterpart Adel Al-Jubeir: “Unlike the previous administration, we (the new US administration), , “We do not ignore Iran’s widespread terrorism.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s tour showed the administration’s determination to deal firmly with the Iranian situation. Pompeo insisted on sending messages aimed at dispelling any illusions in Tehran that Trump could change his position after meeting French President Emmanuel Macaron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, without a complete change in Iranian behavior in the nuclear issue, the ballistic missile program and Tehran’s influence in the region. US diplomatic sources confirmed that they were keeping up with Pompeo’s tour that Washington, after listening to its European partners, is consulting with its partners in the region to make an effective decision to counter Iranian influence in the region. These sources added that the messages of Pompeo arrived in Tehran and that the Iranian reactions reflect the real concern about the seriousness of the course of the American institutions against Iran. Observers of Iranian affairs have said Tehran feels the US position has escalated after the appointment of John Bolton as National Security Adviser and Mike Pompio as foreign minister. The Iranian response comes after being carefully studied at the level of the Foreign Ministry, and popular as usual at the level of Supreme Leader ( Murshed ) Ali Khamenei.
Iran’s talk about a US-Saudi partnership reveals Tehran’s new reading of the geostrategic scene, which will include the Iranian spheres of influence in the region. Tehran is prepared to take a position on this fact, but its positions reveal that its diplomatic and regional maneuvers are limited, especially if the agreement between United States and Russia is fulfilled that may be reached at the meeting between the upcoming summit between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Iranians are convinced that the Trump administration wants to get rid of the nuclear deal, which US officials see as an obstacle to convincing North Korea to abandon its nuclear program. Senior aides to Trump believe that as long as the agreement allows Iran to maintain its nuclear program and enable it to enrich Uranium Ten years after its signing in the summer of 2015, there will be no room for an agreement with Pyongyang under in which the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula will be taken place.
The United States believes, according to what was said by its secretary of state in his press conference with Israeli prime minister , that cooperation with Israel is crucial to counter destabilizing Iranian activity throughout the Middle East and the world, and is deeply concerned about Iran’s escalation of its threats to Israel and the region as part of its ambitions In the dominance over the Middle East. Iran rejected the accusations of the US minister, who spoke about the ambitions of Iran to dominate the Middle East and destabilize the region, the charges described by Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasimi as a repeat of silly baseless accusations and the Iranian presence and support for the governments of Damascus and Baghdad comes in response to requests from the governments of the two countries, which is part of the fight against terrorism in the region. In addition, the Foreign Minister discussed issues of mutual interest during his tour to the three countries, such as Iranian influence, Yemeni conflict and the civil war in Syria and relations between the GCC countries, in addition to facing the common challenges and maintain the security of the allied countries, namely Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel.
Pompeo’s visit comes as Trump is considering whether he will give up the 12 May deadline for European allies to reform Iran’s nuclear deal, which he sees as severely flawed. He will decide on this date on Iran’s nuclear deal reached after tough negotiations between Iran and the six major powers (The United States, China, France, Britain, Russia and Germany), but is likely to decide to withdraw his country from the agreement in order to re-impose sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear program. It is also expected that the US Embassy will be transferred to Jerusalem on the 14th of the same month in commemoration of the Palestinian catastrophe, with an Israeli-American hope that this step to represent the beginning of other steps within what is known as the deal of the century, which aims according to the Palestinians to liquidate the case and end the resistance.
In this tour, it was noted that it targeted the main countries related to the Iranian nuclear file, namely Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, meaning that the US administration aimed to arrange a general Arab-Middle East opinion for the possible US decision on the next May 12 to get out of the agreement.
International Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies