In Dubai, Pompeo says Iran ‘central threat inside the region’

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defends his tour of Gulf Arab states and the Trump administration’s continued efforts to squeeze Iran, even as a new US administration led by prepares to enter the White House in January.

Although Pompeo has not taken questions from US-based reporters traveling with him over the past 10 days, he sits down with the Saudi-owned broadcaster Al-Arabiya in Dubai for brief televised remarks Sunday.

“Our policies don’t change. Our duty doesn’t change. My responsibilities don’t change,” he says. “I still have an obligation — every hour, every minute — to defend the American people and to keep them foremost in our efforts, and we’ll do that. We’ll do that to the very last minute.”

Cabinet ratifies mutual visa exemption agreement with UAE

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo takes part in a security briefing on Mount Bental in the Golan Heights, near Merom Golan on the border with Syria, on November 19, 2020. (Patrick Semansky/Pool/AFP)

In what is likely his final tour of the Persian Gulf as secretary of state, he touts the Trump administration’s Mideast strategy that focused on Iran as “the central threat inside the region” and for a maximum pressure campaign that hampered Iran’s ability to support militias in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.

“It’ll be our policy until our time is complete,” he says, stopping short of saying when he’d cease work as the top US diplomat.

— AP

Read original article here.