The State Department’s top official for Iran will travel to the Middle East this week to meet with key allies, the agency said.
Brian Hook, the US special representative for Tehran, will depart Washington for the region Wednesday to hold meetings with officials in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain.
The United States is committed to working with our partners in the region to safeguard freedom of navigation and deter Iranian threats to international trade and shipping
“Hook will discuss Iran’s regional aggression, including its recent attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman,” the agency said, referring to recent attacks the US blamed on Tehran, which denies the allegations.
The State Department said Hook will share additional intelligence the US has “on the range of active threats Iran currently poses to the region.”
UPDATE: US – #Iran Standoff
• Brian Hook to the Gulf to “share intel on active threats”
• France Envoy is in Iran
• Kuwait Emir is in Iraq
• Hook to visit all GCC states but Qatar, then meets EU
• Clock ticking on Uranium stockpile deadline https://t.co/Qtt80TX3od
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) June 19, 2019
“The United States is committed to working with our partners in the region to safeguard freedom of navigation and deter Iranian threats to international trade and shipping,” it added.
Hook will depart the Middle East for Europe on June 27 where he will meet in Paris with his British, French and German counterparts “to discuss a range of issues concerning the Iranian regime.”
US continues its Blame Game
Tensions have been at a fever pitch between Washington and Tehran since US President Donald Trump decided in May 2018 to unilaterally withdraw the US from an internationally-brokered agreement meant to rein in Iran’s nuclear program.
The agreement’s other signatories – including the British, French and Germans – counseled Trump against the action, but he ignored warnings that withdrawing would increase the prospects for conflict with Iran.
All of the other parties to the agreement have stayed within the agreement’s parameters despite the Trump administration’s efforts to torpedo it, including re-imposing sanctions on the export of Iranian crude oil that were lifted as part of the deal.
The administration also opened the door to sanctioning the transfer of enriched uranium out of Iran, a key component of the 2015 agreement wherein Iran received natural uranium to power its nuclear plants in exchange for shipping out enriched uranium.
Iran warned Monday it now stands to violate as soon as next week limits of enriched uranium it accepted as part of the agreement.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk