The decision by US President Donald Trump to dismiss Secretary of State Rex Tilerson and replace him with CIA director Mike Pompeo as a successor has sparked enormous reactions at all international and regional levels. This came as Tillerson was fired following disagreement with Trump in relation to the nuclear deal with Iran.
Lauding the move, commentators said the incoming secretary of state will be able to represent the US foreign policy and will adopt harsher stances on Iran. They added this decision has been awaited for months. There was a palpable divergence of viewpoints between the Department of State and the White House, especially regarding Qatar and Iran.
The new US top diplomat was on record for adopting stances supportive of the struggle of the Iranian people. He said the CIA did not stand behind the protests that broke out late last December in major cities and demanded toppling the regime.
He said the people who aspires to a better life took to the streets to bring down the clerical rule.
Pomepo also sent a message to the commander of the notorious Qods Force, an affiliate of the IRGC, Qassem Suleimani, where he warned him of the Iranian intervention in Iraq.
At a symposium at the annual Reagan Defense Forum in southern California, Pompeo said he had sent the message after a senior Iranian military commander suggested troops under his command could attack US forces in Iraq, but did not mention when he did send the message.
"What we were talking about in this message is that we will hold him (Suleimani) and Iran responsible for any attacks on US interests in Iraq by the forces under their control," the US intelligence official said. "We want to make sure that he and the leadership in Iran understand our warning clearly."
Mike Pompeo has confirmed that Iran is the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, and that terrorism exists everywhere in the Middle East.
He wrote in a July 2016 op-ed that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action “virtually guaranteed that Iran will have the freedom to build an arsenal of nuclear weapons at the end of the commitment.”
Pompeo also proclaimed following Trump’s election that he looked forward to rolling back the “disastrous deal.” When Pompeo was appointed to lead the CIA, he warned that Tehran is "intent of destroying America"
In an earlier interview with MSNBC, Pompeo said: "When we look at Iran's impact on the government in Baghdad, the growing power of Hezbollah in Lebanon, its collaboration with Houthis, Iraqi Shiite militiamen fighting on the border in Syria, and the Shiite militias are engaged in fighting in Syria, we find Iran is everywhere in the Middle East. "
Rex Tilerson's policies aimed to appease Qatar and Iran have for months revealed the White House's intention to replace him.
Earlier the New York Times reported that the White House is seriously considering changing US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and appointing the director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, as successor in the next few months as tensions with US President Donald Trump. Pompeo was at the top of the list of candidates to succeed Tillerson.
Commentators say Iran has been increasingly marginalized during the Trump administration. They believe that appointing Pompeo will help deal better with the Iranian threat in the region.
"Trump and Tillerson were far apart on Iran. Now this divergence is over. And the days to come will see tougher moves towards the Iranian regime and the nuclear deal," they forecast.