Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Iran says Tillerson firing shows U.S. 'determined' to quit nuclear deal

Iran says Tillerson firing shows U.S. 'determined' to quit nuclear deal

Gina Haspel broke another glass ceiling in her illustrious career in the CIA running over more than three decades when US President Donald Trump announced that she would become the first woman to lead the agency.

That's how outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson felt for most of a tenure that lasted almost 15 months.

Tillerson had criticised Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt for severing diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in June past year from the very beginning.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer would not go into detail on the confirmation process, but when asked if he was planning to call on Democrats to oppose Mr. Trump's nominations in Gina Haspel and Pompeo, he replied in a veiled manner, "At this point, I am not".

Tillerson's departure adds to a period of intense turnover within Trump's administration that has alarmed those both in and out of the White House.

"This is insane. I might actually get my dream job", Pompeo quipped, according to two sources familiar with his comments.

"When you look at the Iran deal, I think it's awful. I wanted to break it or do something, and he felt a little bit differently".

"As director of the CIA, Mike has earned the praise of members in both parties by strengthening our intelligence gathering, modernising our defensive and offensive capabilities, and building close ties with our friends and allies in the worldwide intelligence community", Mr Trump said.

He said he would delegate all authority to Deputy Secretary John Sullivan, who will serve as acting secretary until Pompeo is confirmed. And he has won favor with Trump through his hawkish views on Iran, his willingness to aggressively defend the administration's foreign policy and his former military service.

Menendez told reporters Tuesday that the State Department has lacked stability at a time when Trump's "bombast against diplomacy undermines the very essence of what our people can do overseas".

Pompeo said in his previous role as CIA director that the agency had observed Russian activity to influence the next U.S. election cycle, the November mid-terms.

Tillerson's ouster bodes ill for those in Trump's administration who were not a part of his campaign team, business life or family.

"Gina Haspel has dedicated her professional life to the national security of the United States, having joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1985".

Ironically, one of Trump's most public clashes with Tillerson came when the president accused his top diplomat of "wasting his time" pursuing contacts with North Korea.

Stocks were lower in the afternoon, shaking off early gains on data showing slowing consumer price inflation, on uncertainty about Tillerson's dismissal and replacement by Pompeo. "There's nobody to be a check and balance on Trump. Pompeo's worldview sees enemies in all directions", Brenner said. Trump said there was no reason to consult him because no matter what the group decided, Tillerson would be against it, the official said. "But there is a level of despair at the State Department which was hard to deal with", the official said.

Even after Tuesday's announcement, the White House and Tillerson aides were still struggling to determine when and how Tillerson would exit.

South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha said Mr Tillerson's departure was "a sudden change" but that it would not affect Seoul's cooperation with Washington on North Korean nuclear issues, Yonhap reported on Wednesday.

During his brief stay at Foggy Bottom, Tillerson frequently found himself out of the loop and caught unawares by policy shifts announced in Trump tweets.

Micheal Flynn, National Security Advisor resigned in February after his disclosure that he had discussed United States sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador to U.S. before Trump took office.

Mr Trump publicly undercut Mr Tillerson's diplomatic initiatives numerous times, including on Monday when the former secretary of state's comments about Russian Federation appeared to be at odds with those of the White House.

After 13 months of feeling demoralized under Tillerson, several senior State Department officials said they believed Pompeo was poised to elevate the department's role in foreign policy.

There were already rumors that Pompeo would eventually replace Tillerson as secretary of state.

Tillerson and Mattis had pressed a skeptical Trump to stick with the nuclear agreement with Iran and other world powers, and Tillerson has taken a more hawkish view than Trump on Russian Federation.

But Pompeo also helped engineer a detente between Trump and the USA intelligence agencies after the incoming president likened them to Nazis.

"Working for the White House is basically like being in a Saw movie", he said.

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