U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Saudi Arabia on June 24 during a trip to the Persian Gulf to build a “global coalition” on Iran that will include a visit to the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.).
Pompeo told reporters on June 23 before leaving Washington that he will talk with the two U.S. Sunni Arab allies “about how to make sure that we are all strategically aligned and how we can build out a global coalition, a coalition not only throughout the Gulf states but in Asia and in Europe that…is prepared to push back against the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.”
The U.S. secretary of state’s stops in the Saudi city of Jeddah and the U.A.E. capital, Abu Dhabi, were arranged as additions to a trip to India from where he is to join Trump in Japan and South Korea.
“You’ve seen that child-like map that Foreign Minister Zarif put out that contrasts with the excellence and professionalism of America’s military and intelligence services,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo said that Iran’s map “should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind about where that unarmed vehicle was — it was flying in international airspace.”
“We shouldn’t let the Iranians have one moment where any reporter would write that there is even a credible response to the data set that the Americans have put forward,” he said, accusing Iran of “sowing disinformation in lots of lots of places.”
“We’re prepared to negotiate with no preconditions. They know precisely how to find us. And I am confident that at the very moment they’re ready to truly engage with us, we will be able to begin this conversation,” he said.
Iran recently shot down a US Global Hawk drone on Thursday, saying it had violated its airspace near the strategic Strait of Hormuz — a claim the United States denies.
On June 21, Trump said he had pulled out of launching conventional air strikes on Iran because he had been told that 150 Iranians would be killed.
Iran’s navy commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khazandi has said that the downing of a U.S. drone was a “firm response” to the United States and warned that it could be repeated.