Jun 23, 2019 - World

Pompeo seeks "global coalition" against Iran

 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the media at Andrews Air Force Base, near Washington on June 23, 2019, before boarding a plane headed to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AFP/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday he wants to "build out a global coalition" against Iran, after a week that saw Washington on the brink of launching military action against Tehran.

Details: Pompeo made the comments as he prepared to fly to Saudi Arabia and then the United Arab Emirates to discuss with leaders there "the challenge that Iran presents," he said. Pompeo outlined his goals for a coalition "not only throughout the Gulf states but in Asia and in Europe that understands this challenge and that is prepared to push back against the world’s largest state sponsor of terror."

Driving the news: Trump authorized a retaliatory strike after Iran downed an unmanned U.S. drone. He aborted the mission Thursday night, saying he decided the casualty count was disproportionate. There have been reports that the president instead authorized a cyber operation against the Iranian military. Meanwhile, the Trump administration says cyberattacks against the U.S. are on the rise.

The big picture: During the press briefing, Pompeo did not rule out a more conciliatory approach to the situation, as President Trump had indicated earlier when he said he was willing to speak with the leaders of Iran under "no preconditions" and that all he's seeking out of a deal with Iran is a ban on the country obtaining nuclear weapons.

"We’re prepared to negotiate with no preconditions. They know precisely how to find us. And I am confident that at the very moment they’re ready to truly engage with us, we’ll be able to begin these conversations. I’m looking forward to that day. "
— Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Go deeper: How Trump and Tehran came to the brink of war

Go deeper