Maximum pressure on Iran will continue, says Pompeo as he arrives in Riyadh

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan are met by a member of Saudi protocol as they arrive at the King Khalid International Airport in the Saudi capital Riyadh on February 19, 2020. (AFP)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived on Wednesday in Riyadh for a three-day visit during which he will discuss regional security after the US killing last month of a top Iranian general pushed the oil-producing region closer to an all-out war.

Pompeo was received at King Khalid International Airport by Princess Reema Bint Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, John Abizaid, the US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Under Secretary of State for Protocol Affairs Azzam bin Abdul Karim Al-Qain.

Princess Rima Bint Bandar, while receiving Pompeo, stated that the Saudi-American cooperation was strong and vital for the stability of the region and in facing common challenges.

Pompeo had previously announced Washington’s readiness for talks with Iran at any time, “but Tehran must fundamentally change its behavior.”

Pompeo added during his African tour before traveling to Saudi Arabia that “Iran’s detention of European and American citizens was illegal and unacceptable.”

The US Secretary of State said that the maximum pressure on Iran will continue, “as will its isolation through diplomacy.”

“We are not rushed, the pressure campaign continues. It’s not just an economic pressure campaign... It’s isolation through diplomacy as well,” Pompeo said before his flight to Riyadh.

“(In Riyadh) we’ll spend a lot of time talking about the security issues - the threats from Islamic Republic of Iran in particular, but we’ll talk about a broad range of things.”

On arrival in Riyadh, the US Secretary of state tweeted: “Pleased to be back in Riyadh to discuss the US government’s strong commitment to #SaudiArabia’s security and the continued need to stand together to counter #Iran’s malign behavior in the region.”

ALSO READ: Saudi Arabia’s stance on Iran is ‘very clear,’ no back channels: Al-Jubeir

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Last Update: 00:17 KSA 03:17 - GMT 00:17
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