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Mike Pompeo to lobby Latin American foreign ministers to take hard line on Iran


Mike Pompeo to lobby Latin American foreign ministers to take hard line on Iran

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Photo: Reuters

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will arrive in Buenos Aires today to attend a regional counter-terrorism forum with a host of foreign ministers from the Americas.

Those meeting today will also commemorate the 25th anniversary of the bombing of a Jewish centre in the Argentine capital, which killed 85. The investigation of the terrorist attack has been a highly contentious issue in Argentina, with prosecutors accusing senior Iranian officials of masterminding the attack through its proxy, Hezbollah. Iran has denied the accusations.

Today’s forum will provide Secretary Pompeo a platform to lobby for increased support against Iran.

Indeed, Washington has already notched up a victory. This week, Argentinian authorities confirmed that they will designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation with “concrete pretensions” to carry out attacks in Argentina.

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Senior State Department officials have said that today’s conference will also likely result in a joint communique. The US envisions implementing a regional mechanism similar to the Terrorist Financing Targeting Centre in the Persian Gulf, which enables states to jointly designate individuals and entities as terrorists. In such a system, countries would have the same capabilities as the US to impose sanctions on terrorist organisations, creating a more unified bloc as the US pushes its maximum pressure campaign on Iran.

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