Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani on Tuesday urged the international community and the US to enforce maximum pressure on Iran, where the regime has become “number-one threat to Gulf security,” according to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Each of Pompeo and Zayani made their statements at the opening of the virtual session of the first Bahrain-US Strategic Dialogue.
While Pompeo confirmed that the international community did not hesitate in pressuring Iran into becoming a more responsible actor, Zayani said: “Iran today challenges regional security as aggressively as at any time in recent history.”
“It is therefore essential that the international community maintains its resolve to recognize and confront such behavior, with unrelenting pressure on Iran to become a responsible actor,” Zayani added.
The top Gulf diplomat also accused Iran of seeking to undermine stability in the Middle East and that Tehran’s malign intent and activities are more blatant than ever.
“From its nuclear program to its ballistic missiles, from its interference in other states to its increasingly overt involvement in conflicts, Iran today challenges regional security as aggressively as at any time in recent history,” said Zayani.
“It is therefore essential that the international community maintains its resolve to recognize and confront such behavior, with unrelenting pressure on Iran to become a responsible actor,” added Zayani.
Pompeo, in a tweet, welcomed the launching of the US-Bahrain Strategic Dialogue and reaffirmed that Manama remains a strong US partner.
“Pleased to launch the first US-Bahrain Strategic Dialogue today with Foreign Minister Al Zayani,” said Pompeo.
“Bahrain is a vital US partner in the Gulf. Bahrain's partnership in the Abraham Accords embodies our spirit of unity to deter regional threats and build prosperity,” he added.
The top US diplomat, in his opening speech at the US-Bahrain Strategic Dialogue, recognized the importance of Bahrain hosting the US Naval Central Command and Fifth Fleet’s headquarters.
“Bahrain also hosts the United States Naval Central Command and our Fifth Fleet’s headquarters. That allows lots for us. That allows us to collaborate across the board, from fighting terrorism to safeguarding the passage of goods in the Gulf, free from Iran’s maritime attacks,” Pompeo said.
"Indeed, the regime in Tehran is the number-one threat to Gulf security, and to peace-loving people throughout the entire region."