Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Pompeo Continues to Pressure Iran from Sochi

Pompeo Continues to Pressure Iran from Sochi

Wednesday, 15 May, 2019 - 09:00
Mike Pompeo and Sergey Lavrov shake hands after their joint news conference © Reuters / Pavel Golovkin
Moscow – Raed Jabr
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the US does not seek a war with Iran, amid rapidly growing tensions between the two countries, but "We have also made clear to the Iranians that if American interests are attacked, we will most certainly respond in an appropriate fashion."

During a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Sochi, Pompeo added that the US was looking for Iran to behave like a "normal country" but would respond if its interests were attacked.

Despite this rhetoric, the Russian minister expressed optimism on the Iranian nuclear deal.

Lavrov said Moscow would work "to ensure this situation does not descend into a military scenario."

"Bu the fact that we speak on this topic, and we will continue to speak. This gives us hope that some agreements can be reached," he added.

After their talks, they headed to meet Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov who said earlier that the meeting was to focus on Iran among other topics.

"The most pressing issues will be discussed. Clearly, the agenda will include bilateral relations, strategic stability, and disarmament issues, as well as regional crises, namely, Iran, Syria, and Venezuela, as well as the Korean Peninsula denuclearization," Peskov said, adding that the parties might touch upon some other matters.

Director of the Department for the Arms Non-Proliferation and Control at the Russian Foreign Ministry Vladimir Yermakov told RIA Novosti that, "As cynical as this sounds, Tehran is doing exactly what Washington was urging it to do through its recent nuclear sanctions. The United States has made enriched uranium and heavy water export impossible. Iran will, therefore, stock it, and only Washington is to blame.”

Editor Picks