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United States signals it may exit Iran nuclear deal

United States signals it may exit Iran nuclear deal

"This administration has made it a priority to address Iran's missile programs", a senior United States official told reporters in Riyadh, condemning missile attacks by Yemen's Tehran-backed Houthi rebels on Saudi Arabia.

Pompeo expressed pride in the administration's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv, a decision that prompted a lopsided vote of condemnation at the United Nations and spurred a handful of nations to move their own embassies to Jerusalem.

He also said that Iran was destabilizing the region by providing Houthis with weapons in Yemen.

Foreign leaders are waiting to see whether Trump will officially withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, which the president has dubbed "the worst ever".

Asked about Saudi troops on the ground in Syria, Pompeo said: "We will sit down and talk about. how to best make sure that this is not America alone working on this, it's the Gulf states working alongside us".

Netanyahu echoed Pompeo's focus on Iran, stressing the closeness of US and Israeli cooperation on the issue.

"We support (US President Donald) Trump's policy toward Iran, especially with regard to the nuclear agreement", the Saudi foreign minister said. "I will discuss with him developments in the region, Iran's growing aggression and of course the nuclear agreement with Iran, about which there will be a decision soon".

Pompeo's comments in Riyadh and then Tel Aviv came as he neared the end of the Middle East leg of his first trip overseas as America's top diplomat.




While the Secretary of State is set to meet with Jordanian leaders later in the day, a Palestinian Authority official said that Pompeo did not request any meetings with Palestinian officials during his visit, as the Palestinian leaders have been boycotting the US administration since President Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December.

Speaking alongside the Israeli leader, Pompeo said in Tel Aviv: "We remain deeply concerned about Iran's unsafe escalation of threats towards Israel and the region".

But Trump says Tehran has violated the "spirit" of the deal by continuing to test ballistic missiles and by fomenting insurgent violence in the Middle East, allegations Iran denies.

The embassy move is deeply opposed by the Palestinians, who on May 15 will mark the anniversary of what they term the "nabka", or catastrophe, when they fled or were driven from their homes during the 1948 Palestine war. Resuming sanctions would likely kill the deal.

Also hanging over the trip is the uncertainty about Trump's policy on Syria, which has shifted between a speedy all-out withdrawal of American forces and leaving a lasting footprint to deter Iran from completing a land bridge from Tehran to Beirut.

"I don't think Kim Jong Un is staring at the Iran deal and saying, 'Oh goodness, if they get out of that deal, I won't talk to the Americans anymore,"' Pompei saidd.

Pompeo also is taking a leading role in Trump's preparations for an expected summit in May or early June with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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