Mike Pompeo embarks on a burst of actions in his final days as Secretary of State, contrasting his achievements with predecessors.
By Associated Press
Mike Pompeo isn’t quietly fading away.
“Remember this Middle East ‘expert?’ He said it couldn’t happen. We did it,” Pompeo said in a taunting tweet featuring a video clip of John Kerry saying Arab countries would not recognize Israel without an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Kerry, a former secretary of state, will serve as climate envoy in Joe Biden’s administration.
“As the UN’s largest contributor, I put U.S. taxpayers and America’s interests first,” Pompeo tweeted on Monday. It was accompanied by a photo of former President Barack Obama, Kerry, Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice and Obama’s U.N Ambassador Samantha Power at the United Nations. Along with Kerry, Rice and Power have also been named to prominent positions in Biden’s administration.
During the past week, Pompeo has embarked on a burst of actions in his final days as Secretary of State, contrasting his achievements with predecessors.
Since last Saturday, Pompeo rescinded long-standing restrictions on U.S. contacts with Taiwan, a move that will no doubt anger China.
He also declared Yemen’s Houthi rebels a terrorist organization and redesignated Cuba a “state sponsor of terrorism.”
Pompeo also announced that Iran has deep and longstanding ties with al-Qaeda.
Throughout his tenure, Pompeo has attacked China, Iran, various U.N. organizations, institutions like the International Criminal Court, and bilateral treaties such as arms control accords with Russia, two of which the Trump administration has withdrawn from during his time as America’s top diplomat.
On Iran, Pompeo has re-imposed all sanctions that had been eased by the Obama administration after the 2015 nuclear deal and added more penalties. He also advocated for the killing of a top Iranian general in Iraq at the beginning of last year and has been at the forefront of an effort to encourage Sunni Arab states to unite against predominantly Shiite Iran.
“The foreign policy blob constantly looks for a moderate inside the Iranian regime who will ‘normalize relations,'” Pompeo said this week. “The reality is you have a better chance finding a unicorn.”
Led by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, the administration relentlessly promoted Israeli-Arab peace efforts, culminating in agreements for the normalization of relations between the Jewish state and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.
On Thursday, Pompeo lauded Trump’s March 2019 decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which it captured from Syria in 1967. He tweeted a video of himself and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem that night with the caption: “I’ll never forget this moment.”
Pompeo also voided a decades-old U.S. legal opinion regarding the legality of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. On his last visit to Israel in November, Pompeo became the first secretary of state to visit a settlement and on Thursday proudly promoted a Samarian wine named after him.
“L’Chaim to Pompeo wine!” Pompeo said on Twitter.