'Iran trying to dominate Mideast'

US Secretary of State vows that US will leave Iran nuclear deal if no agreement to improve it can be reached.

David Rosenberg, | updated: 19:33

Netanyahu meets Pompeo
Netanyahu meets Pompeo
Haim Zach/GPO

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed that the White House will reach an agreement to improve the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal – or else the US will withdraw from the controversial agreement.

Speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on Sunday, Pompeo said President Trump was committed to either ensuring that the JCPOA was ‘fixed’, or pulling the US out of the agreement.

“President Trump’s been pretty clear,” Pompeo said. “This deal is very flawed. He has directed the administration to try and fix it, and if we can’t fix it, he’s going to withdraw from the deal.”

The Secretary of State’s comments Sunday echo a similar statement he made during a press conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Friday.

“The president has been clear,” said Pompeo. “Absent a substantial fix, absent overcoming the shortcomings, the flaws of the deal – he is unlikely to stay in the deal past this May.”

Following his meeting with Netanyahu Sunday, Pompeo accused Iran of plotting to “dominate” the region.

"Iran's ambition to dominate the Middle East remains," said Pompeo.

Netanyahu expressed a similar sentiment, saying that Iran “is trying to gobble up one country after the other. Iran must be stopped. Its quest for nuclear bombs must be stopped. Its aggression must be stopped.”

Pompeo, who previously served as Trump’s CIA chief, was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday with 56 votes for and 42 against.

The Secretary of State set off for the Middle East this weekend following his confirmation Thursday to meet with US allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Jordan.

Pompeo’s visit to Israel comes just weeks ahead of the May 12th deadline set by President Trump to improve the JCPOA and reach a supplemental deal to strengthen the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program and development of weapons delivery systems.

A critic of the Iran nuclear deal, Pompeo was chosen by Trump to replace Tillerson in part due to his views on the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran. While the president has stated that he will either “fix or nix” the deal, Tillerson supported maintaining the agreement, a position backed by France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel.

Earlier on Sunday, Pompeo met with Saudi King Salman, following a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman on Saturday.

"(Iran) supports proxy militias and terrorist groups. It is an arms dealer to the Huthi rebels in Yemen and Iran conducts cyber-hacking campaigns. And it supports the murderous Assad regime," Pompeo said at a joint press conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

"Unlike the prior administration we will not neglect the vast scope of Iran's terrorism."




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