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With Pompeo's Rise, Uncertainty Deepens for Iran Nuclear Deal

14 March 2018

President Trump on Tuesday announced that he sought Tillerson's resignation and nominated Pompeo for the post, who he said had a "similar thought process" to himself. She has gained respect from the foreign policy community which was initially skeptical of her qualifications as US ambassador to the United Nations.

On Monday, former Exxon Mobil chief executive Tillerson blamed Moscow for the poisonings in England of a former Russian double agent and his daughter.

In July, reports surfaced that Tillerson had called Trump "a moron", an accusation that Tillerson did not immediately disavow. I wanted to either break it or do something, he felt a little differently.

Pompeo's best chance for success lies in persuading his boss that he is not, as Trump once said, "the only one that matters" in foreign policy. But it is not clear that Haspel has the same close relationship with Trump.

After he was sacked by President Donald Trump, Tillerson also said U.S. efforts to pressure North Korea had worked better than expected and revealed he would pass authority to his deputy at midnight.

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Trump's frayed relationship with Tillerson has been well-documented. He said his tenure will officially end on March 31.

Goldstein was sacked later on Tuesday, two US officials told Reuters.

Though Trump and other officials said he'd been considering replacing Tillerson for some time, the president said he made the decision only recently and "by myself". When you look at the Iran deal, I think it's awful; I guess he thought it was OK.

President Donald Trump is required under the Iran deal to waive sanctions against Tehran again in May, which the administration said in January it had done for the last time. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., on draft legislation to alter what they view as flaws in the deal, praised Pompeo's nomination to be secretary of state.

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

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Journalists travelling home from Africa with Mr Tillerson said there was "zero indication" he knew his departure was imminent, and state department officials confirmed to U.S. media that he had not spoken with Mr Trump before the announcement.

He was a weak public presence who considered it an annoyance to engage with the press - when that is a core responsibility of a secretary of state. As director of the CIA, Pompeo is not required to publicly defend every tweet or inconsistency the president utters. "He will do a fantastic job!"

Goodbye to all that: Former US secretary of state Rex Tillerson.

An additional concern that the Senate must address is whether Haspel has the independence needed for a CIA director, since she has never left the agency. The president had tasked Tillerson with negotiating new restrictions on Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile program with European partners by then, a tight deadline only complicated by today's announcement. The White House fired Goldstein later Tuesday. He also spoke with the White House Chief of Staff John Kelly on a smooth and orderly transition.

In an illustration of the gulf that has long separated Tillerson and Trump, the White House and the State Department vigorously disagreed about whether Tillerson had even been informed of his firing in advance. And the US-Russia relations, US-China relations and North Korea seem to be the dominant themes of this administration from a foreign policy perspective to date. It was long rumored that this was in the works because of continual disagreements between Tillerson and the White House.

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Goldstein says Tillerson will miss his colleagues at the State Department and the foreign ministers he worked with.

With Pompeo's Rise, Uncertainty Deepens for Iran Nuclear Deal