DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday defended his tour of the Persian Gulf states and the continued efforts by the Donald Trump administration to pressure Iran.
Although Pompeo has not answered questions from US reporters who have traveled with him in the past 10 days, he sat down with Saudi broadcaster Al-Arabiya in Dubai for brief televised remarks on Sunday.
“Our policies do not change. Our duty does not change. My responsibilities don’t change, ”he said. “I still have an obligation, every hour, every minute, to defend the American people and keep them first in our efforts, and we will. We will do that until the last minute ”.
In what was likely his last tour of the Persian Gulf as secretary of state, the official highlighted the Trump administration’s Middle East strategy that targeted Iran as “the central threat in the region.”
“It will be our policy until our time is up,” he said, without saying when he would stop serving as America’s top diplomat.
Trump has refused to concede his loss to Joe Biden.
The current government is trying to increase pressure on Tehran before Biden assumes the presidency. The democrat has said he wants to resume rapprochement with Iran. Analysts think that Biden will be more willing to engage the Iranians to avoid a major escalation, although he is likely to put pressure on Tehran over its missile program and not just its nuclear program.
Pompeo is scheduled to travel to Saudi Arabia on Sunday night to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before returning to Washington. His tour also included France, Turkey and Israel, including an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.
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