In his first international visit as the newly appointed U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo spent Saturday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, pushing for heavier sanctions against Iran.
Pompeo and his advisers were greeted at the airport by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, and a meeting with Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman was scheduled, although details have yet to emerge.
"We are urging nations around the world to sanction any individuals and entities associated with Iran's missile program, and it has also been a big part of discussions with Europeans," Brian Hook, a policy adviser traveling with Pompeo, said to Saudi reporters.
"Iran's missiles prolong war and suffering in the Middle East, they threaten our security and economic interests and they especially threaten Saudi Arabia and Israel."
While China, Russia and the European Union are urging U.S. President Donald Trump to stay in the landmark Iran Nuclear Deal, under which Iran gave up nuclear technology development and submitted to inspections in exchange for the lifting of sanctions, Trump has pushed to pull out of the deal and reimpose sanctions.
All other parties to the deal and international inspectors say that Iran has fully complied with the agreement, but Trump claims Tehran has violated the "spirit" of the deal.
Pompeo, who is expected to push against Iran during his trip, said on Friday that "no decision" had been made on the deal, but it is "unlikely" Trump will remain in it. Pompeo is a longtime opponent of the nuclear deal, having previously said that the "only answer" is "2,000 bombing sorties."
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday that the attempt by Trump to change the nuclear deal is "unacceptable."
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has also rejected the idea that the deal could be rewritten, saying: "We have an agreement called the JCPOA (the deal's formal title)… It will either last or not. If the JCPOA stays, it stays in full."