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Pompeo promises tough action on Iran

Mehr News Agency – Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state told US legislators on Thursday that fixing “the flaws” in the Iran nuclear deal would be a priority for him if given the job.

Revising the 2015 nuclear accord (JCPOA) was in “America’s best interest”, Mike Pompeo told Senate Foreign Relations Committee at his confirmation hearing. The CIA director and former Congressman said that if the deal could not be fixed and Mr Trump withdrew, he would advocate for a tougher accord. “I want to fix this deal. That is the objective,” Mr Pompeo said.

Mr Trump has cited the “sunset clause” in the current accord that limits the duration of the constraints on Iran, and the lack of curbs on its ballistic missile programme as two shortcomings that he wants European allies to agree to fix before a May 12 deadline. Mr Pompeo refused to speculate about Washington’s next step if this did not happen. “That’s almost a month away. It depends, clearly, if we’re close,” he said.

Pressed by Senator Ben Cardin on whether the US would withdraw, Mr Pompeo said: “If there’s no chance that we can fix it, I will recommend to the president that we do our level best to work with our allies to achieve a better outcome and a better deal. Even after May 12.”

He suggested withdrawing and reaching a tougher accord with Iran if the changes sought by the US were not met, saying this was Mr Trump’s vision for the current negotiations. “The president has stated his objective, I’ve heard him say it to my predecessor, to Secretary [Rex] Tillerson, I’ve heard him say it, his goal is to take the three shortcomings and fix them.”

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