Pompeo meets Saudi king as Iran sanctions loom

Iranian general warns US against uncontrollable scope of war

The sanctions follow Iran's downing of a more than $100 million USA surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz that has ratcheted up tensions.

The deal had seen relevant sanctions were lifted, but the U.S. pulled out previous year and reinstated sanctions.

Trump said last week that he called off "for now" planned retaliatory attacks on Iran after he learned that 150 people could have been killed.

Andrew Murrison, Britain's minister for the Middle East and North Africa, said on Sunday that he had "open, frank and constructive" talks with Iranian government representatives in Tehran.

From the kingdom, Pompeo will travel to neighboring United Arab Emirates, another close US ally.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The statement follows the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's decision on Friday to bar U.S. -registered aircraft from operating over parts of the Persian Gulf.

"Everyone saw the downing of the unmanned drone", navy commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi was quoted on Sunday as saying by the Tasnim news agency.

The newly announced sanctions show the U.S. is "doubling down" on its strategy, said Ariane Tabatabai, an expert on Iran at the RAND corporation.

Trump pulled the US out of the nuclear pact that world powers made with Tehran in 2015.

Trump Calls Off Iran Attacks At The Last Minute
A United spokesman said customers flying from Mumbai to Newark would be booked on alternative flights back to the United States. The Trump administration planned retaliatory strikes against Iran, but abruptly called off the attacks, Fox News reported .

Iran said on Monday U.S. cyber attacks on its military had failed, while also hinting that it could be willing to discuss new concessions with Washington if the United States were to lift sanctions and offer new incentives.

As the immediate crisis appeared to be receding, and Pence said the US was prepared to hold talks with Iran without "preconditions", a senior Iranian military commander warned that USA troops would be killed if Iran is provoked.

Pompeo, who addressed reporters from the tarmac before he boarded his airplane in Washington, declared the goal of his talks with the Saudi kingdom and the UAE is to deny Iran "the resources to foment terror, to build out their nuclear weapon system, to build out their missile program".

Trump, in an interview with NBC broadcast on Sunday, said he wouldn't place any preconditions on negotiations to end the impasse between the two countries other than Tehran can not obtain a nuclear weapon.

In recent weeks, six oil tankers have been attacked in the Gulf of Oman, which the USA and its Gulf allies blame on Iran. On Saturday, Trump reversed himself and claimed that Iran had acted "knowingly". Drones were also used to attack a Saudi oil pipeline last month.

Human Rights Watch denounced last week's strike as an apparent "war crime", urging the Huthis to immediately stop all attacks on civilian infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.

"The US offer for negotiations with no precondition is not acceptable while sanctions and threats continue".

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that more sanctions will come later this week, specifically targeting Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and freezing Tehran's access to billions of dollars in various assets.

Throughout the recent crisis, Trump has wavered between bellicose language and actions toward Iran and a more accommodating tone.

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