U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed leaders at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on August 20,  urging for greater collaboration and “fresh thinking to solve old problems” in the Middle East.

During a news conference with Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, Pompeo alluded to the Warsaw meeting discussions, where leaders from over 60 countries assembled to seek “new solutions to old challenges” in “one of the most troubled regions of the world.”

“Today’s meeting built on what we started last February in Warsaw at the minister up to promote a future of peace and security in the Middle East,” said Pompeo.


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“We spent a good deal of time at the Warsaw ministerial discussing the greatest ongoing threat to peace and security in the region—the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he continued.

The U.S. secretary of state condemned Iran’s “support to proxies in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen, as well as its inexcusable and unprovoked sabotage and seizure of commercial vessels in the Gulf.”

The international community must address Iran’s continued development of testing of advanced ballistic missiles, in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolution 2231, said Pompeo.

He stressed the need for countries to stop the sale of Iranian crude oil, referring to an Iranian tanker currently sailing west in the Mediterranean after it was apprehended for trying to violate EU sanctions on Syria.

“The United States has a set of sanctions that preclude crude oil from being shipped to any country,” said Pompeo, who continued, “We’ve made clear anyone who touches, anyone who supports it, anyone who allows a ship to dock, is at risk of receiving sanctions from the United States of America.”

“So if that ship, again, heads to Syria, we’ll take every action we can consistent with those sanctions to prevent that,” warned Pompeo.

The U.S. Secretary of State explains the reason for intercepting the sale of Iranian crude oil. “We don’t want that crude oil to go to Syria, I think, is shared by the entire world,” said Pompeo, who continued, “That crude oil will be offloaded, sold, used by the Quds Force.”

This is an organization “that has killed countless Americans and people all across the world,” said Pompeo. Intercepting the supply of crude oil is “to deny them [Quds Force] the resources to continue their horrific terror campaign all across the world,” he explained. “That’s the rationale for preventing a ship that’s loaded with crude oil arriving in Syria.”

The Polish foreign minister highlighted the need for Poland and the European Union (EU) to work together with the United States.

Czaputowicz stated that Poland supports the EU view on the Middle East and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an agreement on the nuclear program of Iran reached in Vienna on July 14, 2015 between the United States, Iran, and the five permanent members of the UNSC, plus Germany, and the EU.

However, the Polish foreign minister stated that the EU should keep “close links” with the United States regarding Iran. Czaputowicz stated it is “only with the United States” that they can handle the Middle East issues.

“The EU alone will be not enough powerful and influential to deal with such important problems or actors like Russia,” said Czaputowicz.

Pompeo affirmed the relationship the United States and Poland. “We are partners across a broad range of issues, ranging from energy to counterterrorism, intelligence issues, and human rights issues to a broad range of issues,” said Pompeo, who reiterated that Poland is a great partner of the United States in “each one of those efforts.”

Pompeo also alluded to the Polish cooperation on Afghanistan and other places around the world together, how the two countries endeavored to work together on “shared value sets.”

The U.S. secretary of state continued stating that it is based profoundly on this “shared” vision for how the world ought to cooperate.