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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the Middle East this week to build a “global coalition” against Iran amid intensified tensions between Washington and Tehran.
The likelihood of a military confrontation between Iran and the United States has increased in recent days, notably after Iranian troops shot down an American drone last week.
US - President - Donald - Trump - Administration
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has also accused Iran of sabotaging oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.
In response, President Trump has slapped additional punishing economic restrictions on Iran as part of his administration’s maximum pressure campaign that is choking the Islamic Republic’s economy.
United - States - Cyber - Attack - Weapons
The United States retaliated by launching a cyber attack on Iranian weapons systems last Thursday.
On Monday, Tehran dismissed the cyber attacks as unsuccessful.
Trump - Administration - Deployment - Troops - Middle
The Trump administration has also ordered the deployment of an additional 2,500 American troops into the Middle East since May.
Pompeo arrived in Shiite Iran’s regional rival Sunni Saudi Arabia on Monday as part of a trip that will include the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Sunni - Kingdoms - Coalition - Iran-allied - Shiite
The two Sunni kingdoms are leading a coalition fighting Iran-allied Shiite Houthi rebels in war in Yemen that has killed tens of thousands.
In recent days, the Houthis have launched attacks against targets inside Yemen’s neighbor Saudi Arabia.
US - Capital - Middle - East - Pompeo
Before leaving the U.S. capital for the Middle East, Pompeo told reporters that he would talk with the two U.S. Sunni Arab allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE:
[A]bout how to make sure that we are all strategically aligned and how we can build out a global coalition, a coalition not only throughout the Gulf states but in Asia and in Europe that…is prepared to push back against the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.
President - Trump - Pompeo - United - States
Echoing President Trump, Pompeo noted that the United States is willing to negotiate with Iran without preconditions to ease tensions between the two longtime rivals. Iran, however, has indicated it is...
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