All tagged Mike Pompeo

China Urges 'Restraint' from US, Iran After Saudi Oil Attack

◢ China on Monday urged the United States and Iran to "exercise restraint" after a drone attack on Saudi oil infrastructure, which Washington has blamed on Tehran. Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying also said it was not responsible to accuse others "in the absence of a conclusive investigation or verdict.”

Trump Fires Bolton as Top Security Adviser, Citing Disagreements

◢ President Donald Trump ousted National Security Adviser John Bolton because he “disagreed strongly” with many of his positions, ending a tumultuous tenure marked by several setbacks in U.S. foreign policy. “I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning,” Trump tweeted. “I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week.”

US Imposes Sanctions on Iran Space Program

◢ The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on Iran's space program, saying that a recent explosion on a launch pad was a sign of missile work. "The United States will not allow Iran to use its space launch program as cover to advance its ballistic missile programs," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

US Urges UN to Extend Iran Arms Embargo, Travel Ban

◢ The US urged the United Nations Tuesday to extend an arms embargo on Tehran that is due to expire next year as part of the embattled Iran nuclear deal. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the UN Security Council that the clock was ticking on a resolution restricting weapons sales to Iran that is due to end in October 2020.

Pompeo Talks Maritime Security, Iran With Saudi Crown Prince

◢ U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed maritime security, Iran and Yemen with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a phone call on Wednesday. "The secretary discussed heightened tensions in the region and the need for stronger maritime security in order to promote freedom of navigation," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.

U.S. Sanctions Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif as Tensions Rise

◢ The Trump administration on Wednesday imposed sanctions against Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in a provocative move that diminishes the prospects for a diplomatic solution to rising tensions that have brought the U.S. and Tehran to the brink of war. The U.S. said Zarif, viewed as Iran’s most skilled diplomat, acts on behalf of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who was previously sanctioned.

US Sanctions on Chinese Oil Trader 'Illegal': Beijing

◢ China on Tuesday called US sanctions against Chinese companies "illegal", a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced he was putting a leading oil importer on a blacklist. Pompeo said Monday that the US was imposing sanctions on Zhuhai Zhenrong and its chief executive Li Youmin as part of a "maximum pressure campaign" for trading in Iranian crude oil.

Pompeo Vows That U.S. Will Protect Shipping in Persian Gulf

◢ There’s “no doubt” Iran was responsible for attacks on two oil tankers leaving the Persian Gulf last week, and the U.S. will guarantee safe commercial navigation going forward with its partners, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said. “The United States is going make sure that we take all the actions necessary, diplomatic and otherwise, that achieve that outcome,” Pompeo said on Sunday.

Japan PM to Meet Iran's Khamenei to Mediate With US

◢ Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei later this month with Tokyo hoping to mediate between Washington and Tehran, a report said Sunday. As tensions intensify between Iran and Japan's key ally the United States, Abe has reportedly proposed serving as a go-between and is said to be weighing up a state visit to Iran.

U.S. Warns Europe That Its Iran Workaround Could Face Sanctions

◢ The Trump administration escalated its battle with European allies over the fate of the Iran nuclear accord. Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, signaled in a May 7 letter obtained by Bloomberg that INSTEX the European vehicle to sustain trade with Tehran, and anyone associated with it could be barred from the U.S. financial system if it goes into effect.

US Fingers Iran on Gulf Attacks but Eases Tone

◢ President Donald Trump's administration charged Tuesday it was "quite possible" Iran was responsible for sabotage of Gulf oil interests but said its robust response had stopped potential attacks on Americans. US officials appeared to be toning down weeks of fiery warnings to Iran before delivering a classified briefing to the full Congress, where rival Democrats have accused the administration of hyping intelligence.

Iran Accuses US of 'Unacceptable' Escalation in Tensions

◢ Iran accused the United States Thursday of an "unacceptable" escalation of tensions and said Tehran was showing "maximum restraint" despite Washington's withdrawal from a nuclear deal with world powers. Tensions were already high after President Donald Trump walked away a year ago from the accord, which eased international sanctions in return for curbs on Iran's nuclear program.

Iran Calls Ship Attacks off UAE 'Alarming', Urges Probe

◢ Iran on Monday called attacks on ships in the Gulf "alarming", after the UAE and Saudi Arabia said several vessels including oil tankers were damaged in acts of sabotage off the Emirati coast. "The incidents in the Sea of Oman are alarming and regrettable," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in an English-language statement on the ministry's website.

Iran Tells Trump: Don't Wait for Us to Pick Up the Phone

◢ Iranian officials rebuffed President Donald Trump’s suggestion that they call him to try to defuse frictions as the U.S. ratcheted up its actions against Tehran. Several top Iranian aides and lawmakers predicted Sunday that the current tensions wouldn’t lead to war, calling the U.S. deployment of an aircraft carrier, warship, bomber jets and missile defenses to the Middle East a propaganda stunt.

Trump Says 'Open to Talk' to Iran

◢ US President Donald Trump said Thursday that he is open to talks with the Iranian leadership, amid mounting tensions between Washington and Tehran. "What I would like to see with Iran, I would like to see them call me," Trump told reporters at the White House.

Pompeo Tells U.K. Not to Go `Wobbly' in Stinging Rebuke

◢ U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo fired a broadside of criticism at the U.K.’s approach to national security, demanding America’s long-standing ally takes a far tougher approach to China and Iran, and to hurry up and deliver Brexit. His criticism comes at a particularly sensitive time for Prime Minister Theresa May, who is struggling to complete Britain’s divorce from the European Union and under daily pressure to resign.

Pompeo in Baghdad on Unannounced Visit

◢ US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in Baghdad late Tuesday on an unannounced visit, an Iraqi government source told AFP, cancelling a trip to Germany amid escalating US-Iran tensions. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the high security nature of the visit, said Pompeo was set to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi.

Trump to Sanction Allies Over Iran Oil, Risking Friction

◢ The United States said Monday it would start imposing sanctions on friends such as India that buy Iranian oil, in its latest aggressive step to counter Tehran that could jeopardize US relationships. The announcement sent global crude prices spiraling higher, although President Donald Trump tweeted that Saudi Arabia and other US allies would"more than make up" for decreases in Iranian oil.

U.S. Waiver Concern Sees Iranian Oil Buyers Put Imports on Hold

◢ The biggest buyers of Iranian oil are said to be putting their purchases on hold as they wait to see whether the White House will extend waivers allowing them to keep buying the crude. Most Asian buyers are avoiding imports for next month as it’s unclear what will happen to the exemptions that are set to expire in the first week of May, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Fresh U.S. Divide on Iran Emerges Over Expiring Nuclear Waivers

◢ A fresh divide is emerging between some Trump administration officials and hard-line opponents of Iran in the Senate over how far to go in the White House’s “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic. In a letter to President Donald Trump this week, a group of Republican senators demanded that Secretary of State Michael Pompeo stop letting Iran continue its limited civilian nuclear research program.