Pompeo says would 'happily' go to Tehran

Pompeo says would 'happily' go to Tehran

Trump withdrew the United States from the accord a year ago, reinstating sanctions on Iran and adding new ones.

Iran has responded to stepped-up US economic sanctions with a variety of military moves, and the Shahab-3 missile test launch could be considered another signal from Tehran that it will not back down.

Trump and Iranian leaders have both publicly said talks were possible, although each side had different conditions for negotiations to take place.

Noting that the U.S. was just at the very beginning of this initiative, Pompeo said he already had commitments from a number of nations that said they would provide resources - both naval and aviation.

Iran test-launched a medium-range ballistic missile inside its borders, US officials said Friday, defying Trump administration demands that it curtail the weapon program and demonstrating its intent to further push back against USA sanctions.

In a separate interview broadcast by Fox News, Pompeo said that Washington had already asked Japan, France, Germany, South Korea, Australia, and other nations to join a planned maritime security initiative in the Middle East.

American military officials said they had been monitoring the launch site ahead of the test.

The US secretary of state insisted that every country that was interested in ensuring security in the Strait of Hormuz needed to participate in the initiative to protect not only its own interests but "fundamental understanding of free and open waterways".

According to USA officials familiar with the situation, Iran successfully tested a Shahab-3 missile on Wednesday.

"The Shahab-3 is the backbone of Iran's class of medium-range ballistic missiles", he said, adding that Iranian news outlets have previously called it one of the country's "Israel-hitting" missiles.

Experts believe the Shahab-3 is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

It comes amid sky-high tensions in the gulf, that has seen a British-flagged oil tanker seized.

The move is at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran, as the former claims to have downed two Iranian drones - which Tehran has denied - and President Trump nearly launched air strikes against the country but called them off at the last minute.

The seizure has been seen as a tit-for-tat move after British authorities detained an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar earlier this month on suspicion it was shipping oil to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions.

The Stena Impero is at the heart of the showdown between Iran and Britain.



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