Mike Pompeo
Mike PompeoReuters

A Senate panel on Monday voted to give CIA Director Mike Pompeo a favorable recommendation that puts him on course to be confirmed as Secretary of State, The Hill reported.

The approval came following a surprise last-minute vote switch by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

Pompeo was poised to face a historic setback by becoming the first Secretary of State nominee since at least 1925 to fail to win over a majority of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The U-turn on the panel came after Paul announced minutes before the Foreign Relations Committee meeting that he would support Pompeo’s nomination.

“Having received assurances from President Trump and Director Pompeo that he agrees with the President on these important issues, I have decided to support his nomination to be our next Secretary of State,” Paul said in a string of tweets early Monday evening, according to The Hill.

He added that the decision came after he had spoken with Trump “several times today. I also met with and spoke to Director Pompeo.”

Pompeo was named by U.S. President Donald Trump as his nominee for Secretary of State after he fired Rex Tillerson from the post.

Trump later stated that the reason behind the dismissal of Tillerson was his support for the 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers.

Pompeo has in the past criticized the 2015 deal. In October, he said the nuclear deal is insufficient in ensuring the Islamic Republic has no pathway to developing a bomb. The comment came after Trump adopted a harsh new approach to Iran by refusing to certify its compliance with the deal.

During his time as a Kansas congressman, Pompeo was among a group of American lawmakers who introduced legislation which would have prohibited then-President Barack Obama from providing Iran direct or indirect access to the U.S. dollar or the American financial system.

Shortly before being nominated as CIA chief, Pompeo took to Twitter and wrote, “I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.”

Senator Paul, according to The Hill, has been under an intense public pressure campaign from both Trump and White House legislative affairs director Marc Short to support Pompeo.

Pompeo’s nomination is now heading toward the Senate floor, where he has the 50 votes needed to be confirmed.