Mike Pompeo
Mike PompeoReuters

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday said that the bond that has been established between Israel and Arab countries over the Iranian nuclear issue is encouraging.

In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Pompeo also noted that the US sanctions on Iran are working despite some having predicted they would not.

Asked about the relationship that has been established between the US, Israel, the Jordanians, Egyptians, the Saudis, the Emirates, and others, the Secretary of State replied, “That’s something that’s really very – frankly, very encouraging. The framework that had set the Middle East for so many years was the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and now the major destabilizing force in the Middle East is the Islamic Republic of Iran. And so you see nations lining up, understanding that’s a threat.”

“Whether you’re an Arab nation like the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia, or a Jewish state like Israel, they see this common threat, and we saw this. We held a gathering in Warsaw, now just a few months back, and we had Arab nations, Prime Minister Netanyahu was there. This is truly historic. And they have come to understand that they have a common threat, and they are increasingly finding ways to work together to keep each of their nations secure,” he added.

Asked about the US sanctions, Pompeo noted, “We’ve laid out the standard for what the Islamic Republic of Iran needs to do, and we have placed sanctions on them. I remember, Sean, some saying – not you, but others saying that American sanctions wouldn’t work if the Europeans didn’t come along…and that’s turned out to be false. They have worked. The President has done great work there.”

“We do hope that the Islamic Republic of Iran leadership will come to know what I think their people know. I think their people think their leadership is on the wrong end of the stick.”

Pompeo also pointed out the fundamental flaw of the 2015 Iran deal which he called the “Kerry-Obama deal”.

“They allowed Iran to have enormous wealth, lots of money, put cash on pallets and sent it to Iran, and then let them continue to enrich uranium so they had the capacity to build out their nuclear weapon system and foment terror. Those were the failures of the previous agreement the President identified, and I think we’ve made real progress.”

Pompeo was also asked about the US talks with North Korea on denuclearization.

“The President’s visit to North Korea, where he went across into North Korea for the first time a president had done that, has given us another chance to sit down with them and have another conversation. And I hope the North Koreans will come to the table with ideas that they didn’t have the first time,” he said.

“We hope we can we be a little more creative too. The President’s mission hasn’t changed: to fully and finally denuclearize North Korea in a way that we can verify. That’s the mission set for these negotiations. I hope that the opportunity – I was present when Chairman Kim and President Trump were together. I hope their meeting can put us on the right path to get that deal done,” added the Secretary of State.