US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed new sanctions will be imposed on Iran as he visited the UAE on Thursday.
Mr Pompeo met Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, for talks on the regional situation and in particular the attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.
“There will be more sanctions imposed on Iran to prevent its continued support for terrorism to groups such as Hezbollah,” Mr Pompeo told reporters, adding that Washington is seeking a peaceful resolution to the crisis in the region after the Saudi attack.
“I hope the Islamic Republic of Iran sees it the same way,” he said after meeting Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed.
The meeting between Mr Pompeo and top leaders from Abu Dhabi comes just days after the September 14 attacks on Saudi Arabia’s biggest oil production facility that the United States says originated from Iran, despite Houthi rebels in Yemen claiming responsibility.
“We are still striving to build out a coalition in an act of diplomacy while the foreign minister of Iran is threatening all out war and to fight to the last American, were here to build up a coalition aimed at achieving peace,” he said.
Mr Pompeo has called the attacks an act of war.
Washington’s top diplomat said he will present US President Donald Trump with the “latest details of the attack on Aramco”.
The US official’s arrival in Abu Dhabi follows a visit to Saudi Arabia where he met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday to discuss “the unprecedented attacks against Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure”.
“The US stands with Saudi Arabia and supports its right to defend itself. The Iranian regime’s threatening behaviour will not be tolerated,” Mr Pompeo said on Twitter.
He also welcomed the news that Saudi Arabia and the UAE were joining the international maritime force to protect shipping in the Gulf region.
Australia, Bahrain and the United Kingdom also are taking part but Iraq rejected claims that it will join the coalition.
Iraqi foreign ministry also rejected any participation by Israel in that coalition, and said that security in the Gulf was the responsibility of Gulf states.
Washington and Riyadh both agreed “the Iranian regime must be held accountable for its continued aggressive, reckless, and threatening behaviour,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.
The “unacceptable and unprecedented attack… not only threatened Saudi Arabian national security, but also endangered the lives of all the American citizens living and working in Saudi Arabia,” she added.
Saudi Arabia on Wednesday displayed the remnants of the rockets and drones that it said were used in the attack the Abqaiq oil processing facility. The Saudi defence ministry blamed Tehran but stopped short of saying that the attack was launched from Iranian territory.
Defense Ministry spokesman Col Turki Al Malki said the country was still working to identify the precise launch point of attack, but said the weapons were of Iranian origin.
He said that the attack carried out using with a mix of cruise missiles, manufactured in Iran in 2019, and delta wing drones that also belonged to the Iranian military.
The Saudi official said all the evidence would be shared with the UN and the kingdom’s allies.
Source » thenational