JERUSALEM 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the US and Israel want Iran to leave Syria.

In an interview with Israel’s Kan Radio late on Wednesday, Pompeo said Washington has made it clear to the Assad regime that it wants an end to Iranian involvement in Syria.

He said America’s sustained pressure on Iran had proven effective and prevented Tehran from acquiring resources to continue “terrorism around the world.”

“These are tough times all over the world, but this is an important relationship in an important time. I spoke with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and [Benny] Gantz about many and broad subjects, dealing with Iran and extending the weapon embargo on them,” Pompeo said in the interview, according to Israeli daily Jerusalem Post.

The top US diplomat said Washington was hopeful that the people of Iran would choose a new leadership.

He also spoke about Israel’s imminent annexation of land in the occupied West Bank. “The Israeli government will decide on the matter, on exactly when and how to do it,” he said.

“I hope the Palestinians understand that peace is good for them.”

Pompeo was referring to the so-called Deal of the Century, the US’ proposed peace plan which has been rejected by Palestinians, including President Mahmoud Abbas.

The US secretary of state was in Israel on Wednesday on a one-day trip that included meetings with Netanyahu and Gantz, but none with Palestinian officials.

Trump’s peace plan, announced Jan. 28 this year, refers to Jerusalem as “Israel’s undivided capital” and recognizes Israeli sovereignty over large parts of the occupied West Bank.

It envisions the establishment of a Palestinian state in the form of an archipelago connected by bridges and tunnels.

Palestinian officials say that under the US plan, Israel will annex 30% to 40% of the occupied West Bank, including all of East Jerusalem.

The proposal has drawn widespread criticism from the Arab world and was also rejected by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which urged “all member states not to engage with this plan or to cooperate with the US administration in implementing it in any form.”

* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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