US vows to keep pressure on Iran despite Syria pullout

The U.S. will maintain pressure on Iran despite its planned troop withdrawal from Syria, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday in Jordanian capital Amman.

“The president’s decision to withdraw our folks from Syria in no way impacts our capacity to deliver on [earlier promises to maintain pressure on Tehran],” Pompeo said at a joint press conference with Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi.

“You will see in the coming days and weeks that we are doubling not only diplomatic but commercial efforts to put real pressure on Iran to achieve what it is we set out for them back in May,” Pompeo asserted.

He added: “Your nation [i.e., Jordan] plays a critical role in regional security, including through its efforts to peacefully resolve the Syria conflict, fight the spread of radical Islamic terrorism, and counter the Iranian regime’s malign activities in the region and world.”

Jordan is the first leg of a planned eight-nation tour that will see Washington’s top diplomat visit eight Arab capitals.

Safadi, for his part, said the Palestine-Israel issue had topped the agenda in his talks with Pompeo, along with discussions on how the planned U.S. withdrawal would impact Jordan’s border security.

Safadi also stressed Amman’s support for a political solution that guarantees Syria’s “unity and independence”.

He also reiterated calls for an end to what he described as “Tehran’s expansionist policies”.

Speaking to reporters later the same day, Pompeo said the timeline for the planned U.S. withdrawal remained unclear.

“We don’t talk about timelines. The president has made a commitment,” he said.

“We’re going to withdraw our uniformed personnel, roughly 2,000 folks on the ground,” he added.

Last December, U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, claiming that American forces had defeated the Daesh terrorist group there.

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