Trump administration official acknowledges US use of Saudi Arabia against Iran
The head of Iran action group at the US State Department, Brian Hooke said Washington's appeasement and soft approach towards Saudi Arabia vis-a-vis the journalist murder was due to Saudi Arabia's contribution to oil supplies after Iran's oil exports fell.
The head of the 'Iran action group' said: "I can only speak about how the Saudis have helped our Iran strategy. President Trump gave a speech in Riyadh on his first trip overseas as president, where he called upon our Sunni Arab partners to increase their capabilities to reverse Iranian hegemony so that our Arab partners can shoulder more of the burden in the Middle East,' according to US Department of State site.
Hooke added: "We have enjoyed a great deal of cooperation from the (Persian) Gulf countries and beyond to isolate Iran and to apply as much economic pressure as possible so that they don’t have the money they need to destabilize the Middle East."
The US government has announced it will reimpose all sanctions against Iran's energy and banking sectors on 5 November. These sanctions had been lifted as part of the nuclear deal (JCPOA).
Meanwhile, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi on Friday said: "There is no need for any concern. We should wait and see that the US will not be able to carry out any measures against the great and courageous Iranian nation."
On Friday 2 November, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said: “Unfortunately, the US, by making unfounded claims and with complete disregard for its' international obligations, has abandoned the nuclear agreement and imposed extraterritorial and unilateral sanctions on Iran and, by extension, on other countries.”
The Iranian president criticized the US for threatening other countries who seek to abide by a UN Security Council resolution that endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal.
Last May, Trump announced America's withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and re-imposition of the highest level of sanctions and other economic penalties on Iran.
A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran's access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto sector. A second round, due on 4 November, will be targeting Iran's energy sector and financial transactions.
Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi royal family was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. While Saudi authorities have admitted that the journalist’s murder was premeditated, his body has yet to be found. 101/210