Though some media networks are in a frenzy trying to convince their viewers that one of the reasons why Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired by Trump was because of his opposition to Russia for allegedly poisoning a former spy, the true reason behind the firing could be something quite different.
Namely, Tillerson was fired after months of infighting between the State Department and White House over efforts by Tillerson to salvage the Iran nuclear deal, effectively going against Trump who has demanded that the deal is either fixed or completely scrapped by the U.S., the Washington Free Beacon reports.
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and vocal opponent of the nuclear deal, said he expects Pompeo to more faithfully execute Trump’s policies regarding Iran.
Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis, a Republican member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a strong opponent of the deal, said he expects of Mike Pompeo — the former CIA Director that Trump selected to replace Tillerson — to be more in line with Trump’s position on the Iran deal.
“President Trump has been clear that the Iran deal is terrible policy and has sought ways to hold Iran accountable,” DeSantis told the Free Beacon. “With Mike Pompeo, Trump will have a Secretary of State who sees the threat posed by the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] and by Tehran in a similar light as he does.”
A veteran Iran policy expert close to the White House has said that Tillerson worked to save the Iran deal while the President was publicly pushing to scrap the agreement.
“Tillerson staked his position on saving the Iran deal by threading the needle. He promised the president he could strengthen it enough to be good, but not so much the Europeans would backlash or the Iranians would bolt,” said an anonymous source. “That was always going to be tricky, then it became impossible, then it became embarrassing. The Europeans weren’t giving us enough on missiles and were refusing to budge on sunsets. And so here we are.”
Congress members who oppose the Iran deal have celebrated the news of Tillerson’s removal, saying that as the deadline approaches for the United States and European allies to fix the Iran deal, Pompeo can help push Trump’s hardline stance.
“As the deadline approaches to fix the Iran Deal, Tillerson’s departure is welcome news. We need our top diplomat to share the president’s view on the disastrous nature of the JCPOA, and CIA Director Pompeo is the right man for the job,” said one senior congressional aidecwho works on the Iran issue. “Hopefully now our European partners understand the president’s resolve and will work with us to permanently prevent Iran from going nuclear.”
Not long after Tillerson’s firing, a spokesperson for the former secretary of state released a statement suggesting that Tillerson himself was confused over the reason for his firing.