Pompeo: Other Arab countries will normalize relations with Israel

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo takes part in a security briefing on Mount Bental in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, near Merom Golan on the border with Syria, on November 19, 2020. (File/AFP)
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Updated 22 November 2020

Pompeo: Other Arab countries will normalize relations with Israel

  • Pompeo said Washington will continue working for peace in the region
  • He also said the US held a consistent stance towards Iran during Trump’s time in the office

DUBAI: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said other Arab countries will also normalize ties with Israel, Al-Arabiya TV reported on Sunday.
Washington will continue working for peace in the region, while keeping the threat of Iran in mind, he added.
The US was looking to create a peace deal between Palestine and Israel, but the Palestinian leadership refused to participate, Pompeo said.
“I am very confident that other nations will join what the Emiratis, Bahrainis, and Sudanese have done and recognize the rightful place of Israel among nations,” he told Al-Arabiya in an exclusive interview.
“They’ll do it because it’s the right thing to do for their nation, because of increased prosperity and security for their country,” Pompeo added.
The US Secretary of State explained how this was possible to Washington’s role in “laying down the risks in the Middle East from the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
“The reality is that now the Gulf states and Israel recognized they have a common threat from Iran,” the Secretary of State said, adding that the US “would love for the Palestinians to engage with Israel [but] their leadership has rejected President Trump’s vision for peace,” Pompeo added.
He also said the US held a consistent stance towards Iran during Trump’s time in the office.
“We’ve delivered on every commitment we’ve made to countries in the Middle East, we’ve protected Americans, we’ve built up partners who want to partner with the United States of America,” Pompeo said during the interview, adding, “there’s no reason that’ll change while President Trump is in office.”


Israeli missions on alert after Iranian threats of retaliation

Updated 29 November 2020

Israeli missions on alert after Iranian threats of retaliation

  • UN urges restraint as Tehran vows revenge for slain nuclear scientist

TEHRAN/JERUSALEM: Israel put its embassies around the world on high alert on Saturday after Iranian threats of retaliation following the killing of a nuclear scientist near Tehran, Israeli N12 news reported on Saturday.

Iran has blamed Israel for the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who died on Friday after gunmen ambushed him in his car.

Iran’s supreme leader demanded the “definitive punishment” of those behind the killing that has raised fears of reignited tensions across the Middle East.

After years of being in the shadows, the image of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh suddenly was to be seen everywhere in Iranian media, as his widow spoke on state television. “He wanted to get martyred and his wish came true,” she said.

In Tehran, a small group of hard-line protesters burned images of President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden, who has said his administration will consider reentering Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers. And while burning an American and Israeli flag, the hard-liners criticized Iran’s foreign minister who helped negotiate the nuclear deal, showing the challenge ahead of Tehran if officials chose to come back the accord.

The UN called for keeping restraint and avoiding the escalation of tensions in the Middle East, the deputy spokesman for the UN secretary-general said. “We urge restraint and the need to avoid any actions that could lead to an escalation of tensions in the region,” Farhan Haq said.

Germany called on all parties “to avoid taking any action which could lead to a new escalation of the situation” which “we absolutely do not need at this moment.”

Hours after the attack, the Pentagon announced it had brought the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier back into the Middle East, an unusual move as the carrier already spent months in the region.

Analysts have compared Fakhrizadeh to being on par with Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist who led America’s Manhattan Project in World War II that created the atom bomb.

Fakhrizadeh headed Iran’s so-called AMAD program that Israel and the West have alleged was a military operation looking at the feasibility of building a nuclear weapon.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says that the “structured program” ended in 2003. Iran long has maintained its nuclear program is peaceful.