In an interview with Fox News Friday, Pompeo drew attention to an animation video published on the official website of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei showing a man targeting former President Donald Trump playing golf.
Pompeo said, “I have seen a little clip of a video where they are threatening to kill President Trump and myself, and yet we have negotiators sitting at the table in Vienna.”
The White House warned Iran on Sunday [Jan. 9] after numerous threats by Islamic Republic officials to take revenge from American and Israeli officials they hold responsible for the targeted killing of Iranian operative Qasem Soleimani in January 2020.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Iran will face severe consequences if it attacks any Americans, but negotiations to revive the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran continue in Vienna.
Days after the warning, Iraqi militias fired rockets at Baghdad’s Green Zone and the US embassy late on Thursday.
On Soleimani’s killing Pompeo said, “We kept Americans safe. Today we have negotiators with the Iranians willing to give them money, resources, power tools to continue to build their terror network. It is an enormous mistake.”
If the talks in Vienna succeed, the United States will lift most economic sanctions imposed by Trump in 2018 when he withdrew from the nuclear agreement arguing that it was a weak deal, which would not stop Tehran form acquiring nuclear weapons in the future.
“I can’t figure out why we’re in Vienna negotiating with an Iranian regime attacking diplomats in Baghdad and threatening senior officials,” Pompeo, who has always expressed a hardline position toward the Islamic Republic, asked.
The Fox News reporter asked Pompeo what he thinks about the Biden Administration spokesperson Jen Psaki blaming the nuclear standoff with Iran on Trump’s decision to pull out of the JCPOA.
“She’s living in a fantasy world disconnected from the real world that was the JCPOA,” the former secretary of state said, and added, “It created a clear path for a nuclear weapon and an entire program of nuclear weapons that the Iranians would have had possession.”
Pompeo continued with the argument that the Trump administration made the right decision to pull out of the agreement and given four more years, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei would capitulate and sign a new agreement which would ban Iran “from enriching uranium and
threatening Israel and the United States.”
The Biden Administration argues that Trump’s sanctions did not have the desired effect and pushed Iran to increase its uranium enrichment and malign activities in the region.
In reality, both are right in a sense, but there are two issues. First, is the dimension of time. If US sanctions were kept in place and enforced, Iran’s current economic crisis could force it to negotiate even with a second Trump administration. But in less than three years from mid-2018 to January 2021, Tehran resisted and refused to negotiate with Washington.
Second, Iran’s dangerous expansion of uranium enrichment accelerated after President Joe Biden said he wanted to revive the nuclear agreement and lift sanctions. Also, the Biden administration has not enforced sanctions strictly and China sensing a weakness has doubled its illicit oil imports from Tehran, helping it to adopt a tough position in Vienna.