By Abdul-Hadi Habtoor
October 24, 2017
US President Donald Trump’s strategy to neutralize Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region includes curbing its support for terrorist organizations and militants in the Middle East and Afghanistan, a US official told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior official at the US State Department said that the strategy included four key elements or objectives.
He pointed out that the first strategic goal is “to neutralize the destabilizing activities by Iran, especially its support for terrorism and insurgents, with a focus on its activities in the Middle East in particular and also in Afghanistan.”
Earlier this week, Trump announced the possibility of terminating the Iranian nuclear deal once and for all, because he was “tired of achieving benefits at [his] country’s expenses”. The European Union, for its part, called on the US Congress to maintain the agreement.
Trump’s new strategy – according to the US official – includes putting an end to Iran’s subversive activities in Syria and its support for terrorism through groups such as “Hezbollah”, Hamas, the Taliban and Iraqi Shi’ite factions, noting that Tehran was seeking to fuel ethnic and sectarian strife in Iraq.
The US president said on Monday that a total termination of the Iran nuclear deal was a very real possibility.
“It might be a total termination. That’s a very real possibility,” Trump said before a Cabinet meeting.
Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday welcomed European support for the nuclear deal between his country and international powers.
Rouhani said in a statement on the Iranian presidency website that the consensus on the support for the agreement, especially by the Europeans, “is an important political achievement for Iran,” according to the German news agency.
Following a closed-door meeting on Monday, EU foreign ministers appealed to the US Congress to maintain the nuclear deal with Iran and avoid a return to the sanctions option.
“This agreement is necessary for the security of the region,” EU’s Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said, without elaborating on the role the EU could play in countering Iran’s regional activities.