Amid US-Iran tensions, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday he will visit Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for talks on the crisis sparked by Iran’s downing an American drone. “We’ll be talking with them about how to make sure that we are all strategically aligned and how we can build out a global coalition” on Iran, he said. Pompeo said he would stop in the two countries on his way to India, where he begins a visit on Tuesday.
Pompeo called Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates “great allies in the challenge that Iran presents.” Pompeo denounced a map that was released by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that purported to show a spy drone encroaching its airspace in late May and urged media not to find it credible.
“You’ve seen that child-like map that Foreign Minister Zarif put out that contrasts with the excellence and professionalism of America’s military and intelligence services,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo said that Iran’s map “should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind about where that unarmed vehicle was—it was flying in international airspace.”
“We shouldn’t let the Iranians have one moment where any reporter would write that there is even a credible response to the data set that the Americans
Earlier, US National Security Advisor John Bolton warned Tehran of misinterpreting as “weakness” President Donald Trump’s last-minute cancellation of a retaliatory strike on Iran. “Neither Iran nor any other hostile actor should mistake US prudence and discretion for weakness,” said Bolton ahead of a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
“Our military is rebuilt new and ready to go,” he added, after Trump called off a planned attack on Iran in response to Tehran downing a US drone on Thursday.
The United States also launched cyber attacks against Iranian missile control systems and a spy network this week after Tehran downed an American surveillance drone, US media reported on Saturday. US President Donald Trump disclosed on Friday that he called off a US military strike on Iran at the last minute, saying it would be a disproportionate response to Thursday's downing of a high-flying, unmanned US aircraft over the Strait of Hormuz.
“But after the drone’s downing, Trump secretly authorised US Cyber Command to carry out a retaliatory cyber attack on Iran,” The Washington Post reported. The report said the strikes, which caused no casualties, had been planned for weeks and were first proposed as a response to the tanker attacks.
The attack crippled computers used to control rocket and missile launches, according to the Post, which cited people familiar with the matter. Yahoo cited two former intelligence officials as saying the US targeted a spying group responsible for tracking ships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, where Washington has blamed Iran for two recent mine attacks on oil tankers.