(January 8, 2019 / JNS) U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to rebuke the Middle East agenda of former President Barack Obama, which U.S. President Donald Trump has largely done by withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and treating Israel as an ally instead of an adversary, as well as forming a strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia.
In his speech in Cairo this week, the U.S. top diplomat is expected to blast Iran and, despite confusion, reassure Middle Eastern allies that the Trump administration is committed to them, according to Politico.
Egypt is one of eight countries that Pompeo is scheduled to visit on a weeklong trip that may also include stops in Israel and Iraq.
On Tuesday, Pompeo visited Jordan, where he met with King Abdullah II and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi to discuss regional issues such as Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and combating the Islamic State, 99 percent of whose caliphate has been “taken down,” the secretary of state told The Washington Free Beacon.
Productive meeting with @KingAbdullahII and @AymanHsafadi today. We’ll continue to work together to support our countries’ strong, enduring friendship and to make progress on #Syria and other key regional issues. pic.twitter.com/HMHlpgp5Qm
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 8, 2019
“The counter-Iran revolution is—our coalition is as effective today as it was yesterday, and I’m very hopeful it will continue to be effective and even more effective tomorrow. This is not just about a particular tactic that we take amongst the coalition,” Pompeo told reporters in a joint press conference with Safadi. “This is about a combined understanding that the most significant threat to the region is Daesh and the Islamist revolution, and their revolutionary efforts in the region.”
Pompeo also reassured that Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria will not change the administration’s approach to Iran and ISIS.
“We [are] doubling not only our diplomatic but our commercial efforts to put real pressure on Iran to achieve what it is we set out for them back in May,” he said. “And these are simple asks we ask of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to behave like a normal nation, and the coalition is just as committed to it today as it was yesterday.”
Safadi echoed Pompeo’s remarks and said, like the United States, Jordan is concerned about Iran’s presence in the area.
“We all want to make sure that whatever threat there is mitigated,” he said. “All Arab counties, and I think the United States, too, would want healthy relations based on the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of the other, and respecting the sovereignty of other countries. If that is achieved, if everybody abides by international norms of behavior, then there’ll be no problem.”
“On the withdrawal, I just have to say that the United States and Jordan have always been strong allies,” he added. “We’ve always coordinated, and we trust that we’ll continue to coordinate, and our security is something that has always been taken into account by our allies in Washington, and we trust that we’ll be—we’ll continue to have this kind of relationship.”