Tillerson says US to bolster Gulf defenses to counter Iranian influence

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said the United States is working to bolster Gulf defenses in order to counter Iranian influence in the region.

Tillerson’s comments came during a joint press conference with his Saudi counterpart Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir on the sidelines of the Riyadh Summit.

He also called upon Iran’s president to end all support and financing of terrorist groups now that he has won re-election.

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Tillerson said President Hassan Rouhani now has the opportunity to end Iran’s role in supporting “destabilizing forces that exist in this region.”

He also expressed his hope that Iran puts an end to its ballistic missile testing and “restores the rights of Iranians to freedom of speech, to freedom of organization so Iranians can live the life they deserve.”

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He would not comment on his expectation for the outcome of Friday’s election in Iran, only saying that “if Rouhani wanted to change Iran’s relationship with the rest of the world those are the things he could do.”

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Last Update: 17:01 KSA 20:01 - GMT 17:01
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