Pompeo Says U.S. Planning A Global Summit Focused On Iran

"When America retreats, chaos follows", Pompeo exclaimed. When we neglect our friends, resentment builds.

Pompeo said the USA was "timid" about "asserting ourselves when the times - and our partners - demanded it".

Rob Malley, who was Obama's national security council director for the Middle East and is now at the International Crisis Group, said hearing Pompeo's speech was "like listening to someone from a parallel universe" in which the region's shortcomings were ignored. Obama's office declined comment on the speech.

Pompeo's speech came on the third leg of a nine-nation Mideast tour aimed at reassuring America's Arab partners that the Trump administration is not walking away from the region amid confusion and concern over plans to withdraw USA forces from Syria.

The secretary did not mention Obama by name, but the remarks still struck listeners in the U.S.as unusually partisan.

Pompeo also faulted what he called Obama's "desire for peace at any cost" that led him to strike the 2015 nuclear deal under which Iran agreed to curtail its nuclear weapons program in exchange for easing of worldwide economic sanctions.

Pompeo told Fox News the summit would include representatives from countries around the world to address Iran's regional influence as the Trump administration has sought to pressure Tehran.

United Nations -led peace efforts in Yemen, along with attempts to broker a political solution to the war in Syria that "expels every last Iranian boot from the country" and promoting reconciliation in Afghanistan will also be high on Pompeo's agenda, the State Department said.

Pompeo faulted what he called Obama's "desire for peace at any cost" that led him to reach the 2015 nuclear deal under which Iran agreed to curtail its nuclear weapons program in exchange for easing of worldwide economic sanctions.

Trump this year abandoned that deal, pursuing instead what his administration has called a policy of "maximum pressure" on Iran to try to force it to limit its nuclear program, curtail its ballistic missile activities and cease supporting proxy forces in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, mocked Pompeo's speech, writing on Twitter: "Whenever/wherever USA interferes, chaos, repression and resentment follow". "Best for the United States to just get over loss of Iran". He'll also be promoting a US -backed initiative to form what some have termed an "Arab NATO" that would bring the region together in a military alliance to counter threats from Iran.

Pompeo directly repudiated Obama's 2009 Cairo speech, which was an overture by the then-new president to the Islamic world. As a result, Republicans have long accused Obama of apologizing to the world for US actions overseas, a point that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney emphasized during his 2012 attempt to unseat Obama. And so are the policies that produced so much needless suffering.

At each of his stops in the Gulf, Pompeo will be urging progress on creating the Middle East Strategic Alliance, which would join GCC militaries with those of Egypt and Jordan to serve as a counter-balance to Iran, which they all accuse of fomenting unrest and rebellion throughout the region. "You could read this as obscuring a continued USA retrenchment from Middle Eastern commitments", Alterman added.

Pompeo blamed the previous administration's approach to the Mideast for the ills that consume it now, particularly the rise of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and Iran's increasing assertiveness, which he said was a direct result of sanctions relief, since rescinded by the Trump administration, granted to it under the 2015 nuclear deal.

Former Obama administration officials rejected Pompeo's assertions as petty, political and weak. He told you that radical Islamist terrorism does not stem from an ideology.

The State Department said there were strong shared interests in Middle East stability. "He told you that the United States and the Muslim world needed 'a new beginning.' The results of these misjudgments have been dire". "In falsely seeing ourselves as a force for what ails the Middle East, we were timid in asserting ourselves when the time and our partners demanded it".

Vanessa Coleman

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