Pompeo says US rejoining Iran nuclear deal is a 'crazy idea'

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a news conference in Washington, Oct. 21, 2020. (Reuters)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Thursday questioned the “crazy idea” of Washington potentially reentering a nuclear deal with Iran, days after Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was declared president-elect.

“This is – it’s a crazy idea to think that you’re going to get back into a deal that permitted a clean pathway for the Iranians to have a nuclear weapon by which they could terrorize the entire world,” Pompeo said on The Hugh Hewitt Show.

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Biden was the VP in former President Barack Obama’s administration, which engineered the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal.

In the run-up to the Nov. 3 election, Biden repeatedly voiced his belief that the US should reenter the deal with Iran under certain conditions.

Foreign policy advisers to Biden have told Al Arabiya English that a new deal would need to include Iran’s terrorist proxies and Tehran’s ballistic missile program.

On Thursday, Pompeo said it was not right to normalize with Iran. “Today, they continue to build out their missile program, to extend their capacity to wreak terror across the world,” he said.

Pompeo added that Iran continues to behave in ways that are inconsistent with the commitments “even that they made under the JCPOA itself, as crazy as that was. This is a theocracy, a kleptocracy.”

The top US diplomat also questioned the Obama-Biden administration for making Iran “the linchpin of their foreign policy in the Middle East.”

He also defended the sanctions placed on Iran, which made it “more difficult for them to expand their terror regime.

Abraham Accords

Pompeo praised the recent Abraham Accords brokered by the Trump administration, which saw the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain sign peace deals with Israel. Sudan later also signed a normalization deal with Tel Aviv.

“It’s the direction of travel in the Middle East,” Pompeo said of recognizing Israel’s right to exist.

US President Donald Trump speaks as Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, UAE FM Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and Bahraini FM Abdullatif Al Zayani at the White House, Sept. 15, 2020. (Reuters)

US President Donald Trump speaks as Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, UAE FM Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and Bahraini FM Abdullatif Al Zayani at the White House, Sept. 15, 2020. (Reuters)

This, he said, was in part due to the pressure on Iran as well. “If you undermine that pressure, if you undermine the confidence that the Gulf states have that the United States will be a partner for peace in the Middle East, we are in for a very difficult, long time.”

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Last Update: Thursday, 12 November 2020 KSA 19:29 - GMT 16:29
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