Pompeo takes United Kingdom to task over Huawei

Mike Pompeo takes part in the 11th Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council in Rovaniemi Finland

Mandel Ngan AP Secretary of State Mike Pompeo takes part in the 11th Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council in Rovaniemi Finland

He told the leaders that the United States doesn't "want anybody interfering in their country", and asked them to protect U.S. troops in Iraq.

In addition to the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier, the strike group being sent to the Central Command area of operations includes fighter jets, helicopters, destroyers and more than 6,000 sailors when it left its us port in the state of Virginia in early April.

The Iraq stopover followed warnings by Pompeo and White House national security adviser John Bolton that Iran appears to be preparing for attacks against USA troops and other interests in the region.

In the latest United States move, the Pentagon said it was sending several massive, nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the region.

"But Iran's 40 years of killing American soldiers, attacking American facilities, and taking American hostages is a constant reminder that we must defend ourselves", said Pompeo, referencing the 1979 Islamic revolution that transformed Iran from close USA ally to sworn foe.

"In China, we face a new kind of challenge; an authoritarian regime that's integrated economically into the West in ways that the Soviet Union never was", Pompeo said.

Pompeo is slated to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in London on Wednesday, so it's unlikely he'll be traveling to a far-flung location.

Why was Mike Pompeo in Iraq?

He also asked them to protect U.S. troops and citizens in the country.

Pompeo said he expressed USA support for Iraqi sovereignty, noting, "We don't want anyone interfering in their country, certainly not by attacking another nation inside of Iraq".

"This deal is a crucial agreement which makes the world safer, and we will ensure it remains in place for as long as Iran upholds these commitments". "It is not in either of our country's best interests for those leaders to continue to advocate on their behalf".

The Iraqi source went on to add that during the Tuesday meeting, it was also stressed against any measure that would escalate tension with Iran.

"We talked to them about the importance of Iraq ensuring that it's able to adequately protect Americans in their country", Pompeo told reporters after the meetings. They warned Iran not to violate the JCPOA accord, at the same time promising some help.

Why is the USA sending bombers to the region?

Despite Iran's "significant capability" in Syria and the region, Central Command officials said there were no indications Tehran was aiming to set its sights on US forces. That intelligence led the Pentagon to recommend a carrier strike group be moved to the region. U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday, imposing sanctions on the country's metals industry - the Islamic Republic's second biggest export earner after oil.

In response, Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif tweeted that "the #B_Team is at it again". On May 5, Washington announced that it was deploying naval assets to the Persian Gulf due to unspecified "escalatory" threats from Iran. "We agree they take hostages and repress their own people".

The UK and U.S. have also disagreed on how to approach Iran.

USA bellicosity against Iran was ratcheted up in London. In Baghdad, he set out U.S. security concerns amid rising tension with Iran.

But relations have been particularly fraught between the two nations since President Trump took office in 2017.

Iran will resume high level enrichment of uranium if world powers do not protect its interests against US sanctions, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday, responding to the USA withdrawal from a nuclear deal a year ago.

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