UAE-Israel Business Summit 2021: Stop appeasing Iran, says Pompeo

 khaleejtimes.com  01/13/2021 15:43:01   Suneeti Ahuja Kohli /Dubai

Suneeti Ahuja Kohli /Dubai

suneeti@khaleejtimes.com

Filed on January 13, 2021 | Last updated on January 13, 2021 at 11.38 pm

The next US administration must not allow Iran to re-enter the community of normal relationships, if it does not change the manner in which it engages, said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the first UAE-Israel Business Summit 2021, organised jointly by Khaleej Times and The Jerusalem Post.

"If we appease Iran, underwrite Iran, if we allow the Europeans to re-enter and create wealth for the Islamic Republic regime, it would be a bad thing for the region's security, Europe's security, and America's security. I hope the next administration will recognise that this is not 2015 and takes on board the understandings that the world recognises - Iran is the destabilising influence in the Middle East. The regime in Tehran must be required to change the nature and behaviour in which they engage. We cannot allow them to re-enter the community of normal relationships," said Pompeo.

The outgoing Trump administration had withdrawn America's support from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran nuclear deal as it is popularly known, in May 2018. The deal had provided a lifeline of sorts to Iran, and encouraged the regime to engage with the world while continuing to meddle in domestic affairs of countries in the region.

Watch: UAE-Israel Business Summit 2021: Towards a new era of growth, peace and stability

"The Trump administration forced Iran to make some really hard decisions by denying them resources. We have helped build a security structure, whether it is the international maritime security system to patrol the Arabian Gulf or the efforts that we did to get the Abraham Accords, we have put together capacity for countries to partner with Israel in important ways that preserve and create prosperity for those nations. These are steps in the right direction for the entire region, not just the countries that have entered the Abraham Accords. Every country in the region is safer, more prosperous, secure as a result of this simple reality that this [Trump] administration recognises, which I am very confident will continue," Pompeo added.

The US Secretary of State also showed confidence in how countries in the region are opting for peace and prosperity by partnering with Israel, following the lead of the UAE.

"Lots of countries are moving in the right direction, even though they have not yet signed the Abraham Accords themselves... I think it is not just countries in the Middle East, as you saw with Sudan recently, but you will see more nations in Africa, and Islamic nations in Asia (recognising Abraham Accords). This is the understanding that our nation (US) has initiated and truly augurs well for security throughout the region."

The UAE-Israel Business Summit 2021 is the first to be organised by the leading national dailies in the UAE and Israel. Prominent ministers, business people, and experts from both countries participated in the conclave.

suneeti@khaleejtimes.com


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