US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday pressed the Trump administration’s case for isolating and containing Iran in the Middle East and beyond as he pushed for Saudi Arabia and Iraq to unite in common cause to counter growing Iranian assertiveness. He called for the removal of Iranian and Iranian-supported militias from Iraq and urged other countries, particularly in Europe, to halt any business they do with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
Speaking after participating in the inaugural meeting of the Saudi Arabia-Iraq Coordination Committee with Saudi King Salman and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Tillerson told reporters that an independent and prosperous Iraq would be a foil to Iran’s “malign behaviour.”
Tillerson said countries outside of the region could also play a role, primarily by shunning the powerful Revolutionary Guards, which play a major role in Iran’s economy and were added to a US terrorism blacklist earlier this month. Companies and countries that do business with the guards “really do so at great risk,” he said.
Earlier, at the coordination committee meeting, Tillerson told the Saudi king and Abadi, that the event highlighted the improving ties between the longtime rivals and showed “the great potential” for further cooperation. He noted the August reopening of a major border crossing and the resumption of direct flights between Riyadh and Baghdad.
Source: News agencies