(October 23, 2018 / JNS) U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin discussed Iran oil sanctions on Monday during his meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which took place amid increased tensions between the United States and Saudi Arabia over the death of journalist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi, causing Mnuchin to cancel a speaking engagement at a Saudi investment conference that began on Tuesday.
“To make clear @stevenmnuchin1 cancelled his speaking engagement at Saudi investment conference. He is in Saudi (as part of 6 country Middle East trip) visiting the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center and having meetings in preparation for Iran sanctions,” Tony Sayegh, Mnuchin’s spokesperson, posted on Twitter.
“In his meeting with the Saudi Crown Prince, @stevenmnuchin1 addressed combating terrorist financing, implementing Iran sanctions, Saudi economic issues and the Khashoggi investigation,” said Sayegh in a separate tweet.
The two “stressed the importance of the Saudi-U.S. strategic partnership and the future role of this partnership in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030,” according to the Saudi Press Agency.
“The bilateral relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America were also reviewed on both the trade and investment sides, and the opportunities for their development,” reported the agency. “The meeting touched on a number of issues, including joint efforts in the fight against corruption and the financing of terrorism.”
The visit follows Mnuchin’s first stop in Israel on Sunday, where he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that America would increase its participation in infrastructure projects in addition to “ramping up the pressure” against Iran.
“We have seen in recent years that pressure is the only thing that arrests the forward movement of the Iranian nuclear program, and pressure is the only thing that rolls back Iran’s aggression in the region,” Netanyahu told Mnuchin.