- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo proposed a global coalition against Iran Monday that would include Saudi Arabia, the UAE and 20 other countries.
- Some countries invited to join the coalition are still signatories on the Obama-era Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
- European leaders from Germany, the EU and France have voiced concern over growing tensions with Iran and the U.S. following attacks on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo proposed a global coalition against Iran Monday during talks in Dubai with leaders from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Pompeo was heard telling Abu Dhabi Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the meeting that the coalition would include Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as 20 other European and Asian countries, The Associated Press reported Monday.
“We’ll need you all to participate, your military folks,” Pompeo told the prince alongside several reporters. “The president is keen on sharing that the United States doesn’t bear the cost of this.”
Great discussion today with H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi on the need to promote freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz and to work together to counter #Iran’s malign activity. pic.twitter.com/Vhgq7lMIEr
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 24, 2019(Article Continues Below Advertisement)
The secretary of state revealed before leaving for the Middle East that he would be discussing “how to make sure that [the U.S. and its allies] are all strategically aligned, and how we can build out a global coalition … not only throughout the Gulf states but in Asia and in Europe.”
I’m heading out today. Our first stops will be in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & the UAE, two great allies in the challenge that Iran presents, and we’ll be talking with them about how to make sure that we are all strategically aligned and how we can build out a global coalition. pic.twitter.com/txu0pA2xr4
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 24, 2019
Germany, France, Britain, the European Union, Russia and China, however, all remain signatories in former President Barack Obama’s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — or the Iran nuclear agreement — that the U.S. withdrew from in 2018 under President Donald Trump. The agreement lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for the regime to stop its nuclear program.
“The strategy of maximum pressure can’t be the right one, because one of the consequences is that we are all talking about how serious the situation is and that there is a danger of war,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told ZDF television Sunday, according to the AP. “This is the time for diplomacy. We have to ensure that these tensions are reduced because otherwise, any event — without it being clear who caused it — could lead to … a spiral of violence that ends in a war.”
A spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini made a similar statement.
“Exclusively diplomatic routes are needed to resolve differences,” Mogherini said. “The EU is ready to work with partners to take this forward. … The latest developments underline the urgent need for restraint, for open channels of dialogue and for immediate de-escalation.”
“We must find a constructive solution with one objective, which is the collective security of the region,” said French President Emmanuel Macron.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the Daily Mail over the weekend that Britain “will stand by the United States as our strongest ally, but of course, we have to consider any requests for military support on a case-by-case basis.”
Pompeo’s discussion of a coalition comes just over a week after two oil tankers were attacked near the Strait of Hormuz on June 12. After the attack, Benchmark Brent crude oil trading costs increased nearly 4%.
“China gets 91% of its Oil from the Straight, Japan 62%, & many other countries likewise. So why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation[?]” the president tweeted Monday in reference to the coalition plan.
….a dangerous journey. We don’t even need to be there in that the U.S. has just become (by far) the largest producer of Energy anywhere in the world! The U.S. request for Iran is very simple – No Nuclear Weapons and No Further Sponsoring of Terror!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2019
“All of these countries should be protecting their own ships on what has always been a dangerous journey,” he continued. “We don’t even need to be there in that the U.S. has just become (by far) the largest producer of Energy anywhere in the world! The U.S. request for Iran is very simple — No Nuclear Weapons and No Further Sponsoring of Terror!”
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