Davos - Branding the threat from Iran as “very real”, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tehran was still striving to reduce Iraq’s freedom and independence.

Pompeo also said he was “very hopeful” that progress can be made towards ending Yemen’s war. America’s top diplomat said he would speak later Tuesday with UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths, who has been trying to bridge gaps between its Saudi-backed, internationally recognised government and Iran-aligned Al Houthi militia.

He spoke Tuesday by videoconference to the World Economic Forum in Davos, after President Donald Trump cancelled plans for a US delegation to attend because of the government shutdown.

On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said there “were ways we can encourage them to come together”.