TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised allegations against Iran and its regional role during a visit to Saudi Arabia, his first foreign trip as the US's top diplomat.
He met with Saudi King Salman in Riyadh on Sunday, just days after he was sworn-in following a narrow Senate confirmation.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Sunday, Pompeo called Iran "the greatest sponsor of terrorism in the world."
"Iran destabilizes this entire region. It supports proxy militias and terrorist groups. It is an arms dealer to the Houthi rebels in Yemen and Iran conducts cyber-hacking campaigns," Al Jazeera quoted the American diplomat as saying.
The Saudi minister hailed the "fruitful" meeting with Pompeo, saying the US and Saudi Arabia had "identical viewpoints" on regional "challenges" including "Iran's behavior in the region".
Saudi Arabia "supports the policy of the Trump administration against Iran and to improve the terms of the nuclear agreement with Iran," Jubeir said.
Pompeo's meetings in Riyadh, which will be followed by discussions in Israel and Jordan, come just weeks ahead of several key dates that could bring volatility to the region.
US President Donald Trump has set a May 12 deadline to decide whether to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).
Two days later, the US plans to open its new embassy in al-Quds (Jerusalem). That will mark a significant shift in decades of American policy toward Israel and the Palestinians.
The embassy move is deeply opposed by the Palestinians, who on May 15 will mark the anniversary of what they term the "nakba," or catastrophe, when they fled or were driven from their homes during the 1948 war that attended Israel's creation. Dozens of Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire during recent violent protests along border between Israel and Gaza