Secretary of State nominee ‘friend of Israel,’ critic of Iran deal

It appears that President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, CIA director Mike Pompeo, views Israel favorably and sees the Iran nuclear deal as fatally flawed.

By: Ebin Sandler, World Israel News

By all accounts, President Donald Trump is preparing to nominate CIA chief Mike Pompeo to serve as the next US Secretary of State following Trump’s dismissal of Rex Tillerson earlier in the week. Tillerson and Trump failed to see eye to eye on the fate of the nuclear deal with Iran, which the president is determined to either significantly alter or eliminate completely.

In the past, Pompeo’s positions on Israel have reflected an appreciation for the Jewish state’s role in maintaining stability in the Middle East. According to former Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, Pompeo has a very positive disposition toward Israel, the Jerusalem Post reported. Oren’s comments were based on interactions with Pompeo when the latter served as a congressman representing Kansas.

Oren explained to the Post that Pompeo breaks the mold of many State Department career employees and appointees, whom he says pursue an Arabist worldview in their positions at the agency. Oren cited as examples of this posture former Secretaries of State John Kerry, Condoleezza Rice, and Madeleine Albright.

Pompeo has been described in the past as “a friend of American Jews and a true friend of Israel” by Matt Brooks, who leads the Republican Jewish Coalition. During a 2015 visit to Israel as a congressman from Kansas, Pompeo was briefed by the Israel Police and made a stop at the Western Wall. At that time, Pompeo lauded Israelis’ “admirable restraint in the face of unspeakably cruel attacks,” in reference to a wave of Palestinian terrorism, including a rash of fatal stabbings.

With regard to Iran, Pompeo unequivocally criticized the nuclear deal signed with the Islamic Republic in 2015, subsequently tweeting that he advocates “rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.” Pompeo favors extending sanctions on Iran, in addition to taking further actions to reign in the nation’s regional aggression and nuclear ambitions.