Russian Federation tells Pompeo: Enough mistrust, let's reboot ties

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo travelled to Russian Federation to sit down with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the hopes that the two countries can could find a new way forward.

To deter those threats and counter any possible attack, the USA sent an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Middle East, heightening already high levels of unease caused by the re-imposition of US sanctions on Tehran following Trump's withdrawal of the USA from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal previous year.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will cancel the Moscow leg of his Russian Federation trip, but will meet President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Black Sea resort of Sochi as planned on Tuesday (14 May), a State Department official said.

"I'm hearing little stories about Iran", Trump said at the White House.

"We see that there are suspicions and prejudices", Lavrov told Pompeo at the start of their talks.

In March, when asked about the possibility of a military intervention in Venezuela, US President Donald Trump said that "all options are open".

U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook speaks to VOA Persian at the State Department in Washington, May 9, 2019.

It is Pompeo's first visit to Russian Federation as secretary of state. But he said it was clear Europe and the United States were "going about it in different ways ... taking different courses".

European diplomats urged the United States to exercise "maximum restraint" as tensions mount in the Gulf a year after Washington withdrew from a landmark deal that curbed Iran's nuclear programme. Press TV in Iran also reports that Russian Federation has supported Iran's decision to "scale back some of its commitments" under the Iran deal in response to U.S. and European actions.

"We don't see any corporate demand for it", Hook said.

Lavrov told reporters the two countries continued to disagree about Iran's nuclear programme and the worldwide community's approach to Tehran, while Pompeo said he had raised USA concerns about escalating fighting in Syria's Idlib. "We share the same threat assessment", he said. "We are very concerned about Iran's - a lot of the multiple threat streams that have been reported over the last three or four days".

"On some issues we may agree, on others we may disagree, but when it's in our national interests, it is our responsibility to find a way forward". That includes safeguarding whatever modicum of security there is in the Middle East and preventing a war with Iran, which would most assuredly have catastrophic consequences for Europe in terms of non-proliferation, uncontrolled migration, terrorist threats, and oil markets disruptions.

Iran is following the Pompeo-Lavrov meeting closely.

Known as INSTEX, the special-purpose mechanism focuses on areas not targeted by US sanctions, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and agricultural products.

Spain's Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said Madrid was considering joining the special trade channel, known as INSTEX, which so far counts France, Germany and Britain as shareholders and could be operational by the end of June.

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