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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

Senior US official on Iran to travel to UAE to discuss sanctions

The trip to the UAE will coincide with a visit from US special representative for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad.

Mr Hook will attend the Sir Bani Yas Forum in Abu Dhabi. AFP
Mr Hook will attend the Sir Bani Yas Forum in Abu Dhabi. AFP

The US special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, will travel to Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Monday to discuss Iran's threats, the State Department has announced.

The trip, which will last eight days, will include meetings with senior officials "to discuss cooperation on countering Iranian threats," the state department said in a statement. When in Abu Dhabi, he is expected to participate in the Sir Bani Yas Forum, a high-level retreat for policy makers to discuss Middle Eastern issues.

The trip "aims to advance the President’s Iran strategy and increase pressure on the Iranian regime to cease its destructive policies, including its nuclear and missile proliferation threats, support for terrorism, and other regionally destabilising activities" the statement read.

The Trump administration is trying to rally regional support behind its Iran strategy of increasing pressure on Tehran as a means to change its behaviour.

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Last week, US co-ordinator for counter-terrorism Nathan Sales visited Saudi Arabia and Bahrain for the same purpose. On Monday, some of the toughest US sanctions on Iran, targeting energy, shipping, shipbuilding, and financial sectors, were reimposed on Tehran. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the goal of the economic pressure “is to compel Iran to abandon its destructive activities.”

Also in the UAE next week is US special representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad in hopes "to advance the goal of an intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations that include the Taliban and lead to a sustainable peace" the State Department said.