US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised at the start of his Mideast tour on January 8th that the planned withdrawal from Syria would "in no way” impact the delivery of the administration's anti-Iran campaign.
"You will see in the coming days and weeks that we are doubling not only our diplomatic but our commercial efforts to put real pressure on Iran to achieve what it is we set out for them back in May," Pompeo continued in a joint news conference with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi.
The trip comes amid confusion over conflicting statements by President Donald Trump and senior US officials about a planned US troop withdrawal from Syria. Trump made the surprise announcement about a withdrawal last month, saying some 2,000 troops fighting alongside Syrian Kurdish allies in north-eastern Syria against Islamic State extremists would be pulled out soon. He did not give details, such as a timetable.
The Trump administration in November restored US sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Western powers. The sanctions cover Iran's shipping, financial and energy sectors. They are the second batch the administration has re-imposed since Trump withdrew from the accord in May, AP reported.
Pompeo was also scheduled to meet with Jordan's King Abdullah II at the royal palace in the capital of Amman.