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Agencies
January 11, 2019

Iran’s Zarif on Pompeo: US brings chaos where it interferes

World

A
Agencies
January 11, 2019

DUBAI: Iran’s foreign minister mocked U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech on Thursday in which he said “when America retreats, chaos follows,” by asserting the opposite was true.

“Whenever/wherever US interferes, chaos, repression and resentment follow,” Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter. “The day Iran mimics US clients & @SecPompeo’s ‘human rights models’ — be it the Shah or current butchers — to become a ‘normal’ country is the day hell freezes over. Best for the US to just get over loss of Iran.”

Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed Thursday the United States and its allies would chase all Iranian troops from Syria, and urged Middle East nations to forge a common stand against Tehran.

“It’s time for old rivalries to end, for the sake of the greater good of the region,” said Pompeo at a keynote address in Cairo. America “will use diplomacy and work with our partners to expel every last Iranian boot” from Syria and bolster efforts “to bring peace and stability to the long-suffering Syrian people,” he added.

The top US diplomat was in Egypt on the latest leg of a whistle-stop regional tour aimed at shoring up Washington’s Middle East policy following President Donald Trump’s shock decision to withdraw 2,000 US troops from Syria.

Pompeo stressed the pullout would go ahead, despite comments in recent weeks appearing to walk back Trump’s decision, but that the US would remain engaged. The “decision to withdraw our troops has been made. We will do that. We will withdraw our forces, our uniformed forces, from Syria and continue America’s crushing campaign,” Pompeo told reporters at a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shukry.

He also met earlier with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, after arriving in Cairo late Wednesday on his longest trip since taking office last year which has already taken him to Jordan, Baghdad and the Iraqi Kurdish regional capital Arbil.

In his address entitled “A Force for Good: America Reinvigorated in the Middle East” at the American University in Cairo, Pompeo also took aim at former president Barack Obama without naming him.

Trump’s predecessor had “grossly underestimated the tenacity and viciousness of radical Islamism,” Pompeo said.And parroting Obama’s words in his landmark 2009 speech in Cairo, Pompeo vowed that now was really “a new beginning” in ties between the US and the Middle East.Pompeo’s tour is aimed at urging regional allies to continue to confront the “significant threats” posed by Iran and jihadists.

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