Khaleej Times has announced that the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived Monday in Saudi Arabia for talks on coordinating with the close ally amid mounting tensions with Iran. Pompeo is expected to meet in the Red Sea city of Jeddah with King Salman and the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, before flying for talks in the United Arab Emirates, US officials said. Both Saudi and Emirati leaders advocate a tough US approach against Iran, which last week shot down an unmanned US drone.

In my opinion it’s clear that the purpose of Pompeo’s visit to the Gulf is to continue the efforts agreed during Warsaw Summit in February this year entitled “Together we confront Iran”, where the US seeks to build a “comprehensive alliance” against Tehran.

I believe that the US is now dealing with Iran as a rival that is not supposed to act against it individually, especially since Iran is dealing in a precise manner against the US, which I see it includes methods of psychological operations. As well as that Iran is acting against its opponents as if they are a disintegrated alliance that is neither united nor objective and may not be ready for a real confrontation with Iran.

So, I think that Pompeo during his current visit to the Gulf will focus on identifying a strong mechanism to unite the efforts of the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Israel to confront Iran more conclusively. This may achieve the desired success only in with an umbrella of the international legitimacy, by expanding the scope of political support to build a comprehensive alliance; not only in the Gulf countries, but also in Asia and Europe. An alliance capable of absorbing the dangers of Iran as a rogue state, deterring its leadership and defeating its will as the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism as always described by the US.

It’s obvious that the US is making this trip to maximize the alliance against Iran, while Pompeo repeatedly declared Washington’s offer to negotiate with Iran “without preconditions” to reduce tensions in the region. He said “We are ready to negotiate without preconditions, they know where they find us.” Which may only indicate a repeated contradiction in the position of the US and seriously confuse the decision makers all over the world toward the US-Iranian crisis.

Sayed Ghoneim, Major General (retired)
Fellow, Nasser Higher Military Academy
Chairman, IGSDA