Proving Eager to ‘Get the War Started,’ Pompeo Ramps Up Anti-Iran Rhetoric in Israel and Saudi Arabia

“Less than three years after Iran signed the Iran Deal and began dramatically cutting back its nuclear program, Israel, Saudi, and the U.S. are fast coordinating a military attack on Iran.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-30-2018

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, April 29, 2018. Photo: US State Department

Wasting no time confirming fears that he would would bring his disdain for diplomacy and zeal for war to the world stage if confirmed as Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo used his first official visits to Saudi Arabia and Israel this weekend to escalate the Trump administration’s anti-Iran rhetoric while ignoring the horrific atrocities currently being committed by America’s key Middle East allies.

Speaking alongside Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in Riyadh on Sunday, Pompeo claimed Iran is “the greatest sponsor of terrorism in the world” and said the Trump administration is “determined to make sure it never possesses a nuclear weapon.”

“The Iran deal in its current form does not provide that assurance,” Pompeo asserted, contradicting the testimony of international inspectors who say the agreement has been strong and effective. “We will continue to work with our European allies to fix that deal, but if a deal cannot be reached, the president has said that he will leave that deal.”

While Pompeo may insist that he is determined to prevent Iran from obtaining nukes, foreign policy experts have noted that by attacking the nuclear accord, the Trump administration is actively working to undermine “the very agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran” and dangerously heightening the possibility of war.

Piling on the belligerent rhetoric during a visit to Israel on Sunday, Pompeo—who embarked on his Middle East trip before even holding meetings with his diminished, and reportedly demoralized, staff at the State Department—said he is “deeply concerned about Iran’s dangerous escalation of threats to Israel and the region, and Iran’s ambition to dominate the Middle East remains. The United States is with Israel in this fight.”

“You’re an incredibly important partner [and] occupy a special place in my heart, too,” Pompeo told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was reportedly “delighted” by what he heard from America’s new Secretary of State.

Pompeo reportedly did not make plans to meet with Palestinian leaders during his Middle East trip, nor did he publicly mention the fact that Israeli military forces have massacred dozens of non-violent protestors and journalists in Gaza over the past several weeks.

Emboldened by the Trump administration’s anti-Iran rhetoric, Netanyahu—who has been issuing hysterical and fact-free warnings about Iran’s nuclear ambitious for over a decade—is planning to deliver a speech on Monday to “expose new intelligence on the Iranian nuclear program.”

“Looks like Netanyahu, Bolton, Pompeo, Haley and Trump can’t wait to get the war started,” Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, wrote in response to news of Netanyahu’s planned speech.

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