U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will embark on an international visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and several Western-allied countries following his visit to North Korea this week, during which he will reportedly work to further isolate Iran.
The State Department noted on its website that Secretary Pompeo will “travel to Abu Dhabi from July 9-10, where he will meet with UAE leaders to discuss ways to further strengthen the US-UAE partnership and advance our common security and economic priorities.”
Pompeo’s travels were to begin on Thursday and extend to July 12.
In addition to his trip to the UAE, Pompeo will reportedly travel to Pyongyang, Tokyo, Hanoi, and Brussels.
The State Department’s Policy Planning director, Brian Hook, spoke to reporters in a press briefing Tuesday: “The Secretary outlined a clear and compelling vision for a better future for the Iranian people. This future can only be realized, though, if Iran meets 12 demands to become a normal country.” Hook added, “Normal countries don’t terrorize other nations, proliferate missiles and impoverish their own people.”
The prospects of regime change under the Trump administration may very well be slim. Hook noted in his statement, “As Secretary Pompeo has said, this new strategy is not about changing the regime; it is about changing the behavior of the leadership in Iran to comport with what the Iranian people really want them to do.”
Iran President Hassan Rouhani reportedly threatened on Tuesday that Iran would disrupt oil shipments from neighboring countries if Washington stands by its threat of sanctioning nations that fail to halt oil shipments from Iran by November 4, including China and India.
Major-General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Quds Force, responded saying the Quds Force “is ready to implement such a policy if needed.”
On Wednesday, Rouhani threatened that Iran could reduce its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, because of Trump’s oil sanctions.
“Iran’s nuclear activities have always been for peaceful purposes, but it is Iran that would decide on its level of cooperation with the IAEA,” Rouhani said, according to Reuters. “The responsibility for the change of Iran’s cooperation level with the IAEA falls on those who have created this new situation,” he said, referring to the Trump administration.