Trump Cites Differences Over Iran Nuke Deal As Reason For Tillerson Dismissal

U.S. President Donald Trump cited differences over the Iran nuclear deal as one of two primary reasons—the other being disagreements on North Korea—for firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. “When you look at the Iran deal, I think it’s terrible,” the American leader said, whereas his former top diplomat thought “it was okay. I wanted to either break it or do something, and he felt a little bit differently. So we were not really thinking the same.” President Trump earlier this year de-certified Iranian compliance with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action, as it is formally known, for a second time and announced that he would re-impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic in May unless the agreement’s “disastrous flaws” are fixed. In this respect, the president has highlighted the accord’s “sunset clauses” that remove limitations on Tehran’s ability to enrich uranium in just over a decade, as well as the deal’s failure to address both Iran’s “nefarious” regional ambitions and perceived flouting of a United Nations Security Council resolution related to its ballistic missile program. President Trump’s choice to tap CIA Director Mike Pompeo, an Iran “hawk,” as Tillerson’s replacement is being viewed as further evidence that the White House is serious about scrapping the nuclear pact unless significant progress is made on formulating a follow-on deal, in conjunction with European countries, that addresses key concerns. As a congressman and member of the House Intelligence Committee Pompeo was a harsh critic of the JCPOA, and, after being appointed the U.S.’ top spymaster last year, he expressed a desire to “roll back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.”

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