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Tillerson’s firing shows US will take harder line toward Iran nuclear deal: Analyst

The United States may take a harder line toward the Iran nuclear agreement after President Donald Trump replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA director Mike Pompeo, an Iran hawk who fiercely opposed the 2015 pact, US experts and officials say.

America’s alliance with the European Union and the NATO military alliance will be threatened if the Trump administration revokes the Iran deal, said E. Michael Jones, the current editor of Culture Wars, an online news magazine.

“You can say that you’re going to revoke the nuclear deal, but it wasn’t a unilateral agreement, so the United States can not a multilateral agreement,” Jones told Press TV on Wednesday.

“If they get out of this agreement; the European Union is not going to get out of it; they are going to stay with the deal and so what’s going to happen here is you’re going to break up NATO,” he added.

Trump on Tuesday singled out the Iran nuclear deal as one of the main differences he had with Tillerson and one of the major reasons he fired him. “I think it’s terrible, I guess he thinks it was OK,” Trump said.

Trump’s replacement of Tillerson with Pompeo means an Iran hawk who fiercely opposed the 2015 pact as a member of Congress will now be in charge of the US foreign policy.

While Pompeo was a fierce critic of the deal as a lawmaker in Congress, he tempered his views his confirmation as CIA director.

“Pompeo was a hawk on Iran. However, my understanding is he doesn’t want the deal to disappear,” said a former senior US official. “People should not jump to conclusions.”

Many of Trump’s top national security aides, like Tillerson, have argued that Washington is better off with the Iran nuclear deal than without it. That stance was echoed on Tuesday by the US general who heads the American military command responsible for the Middle East and Central Asia.

The sacking of Tillerson shows Washington is set on pulling out of the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), An Iranian deputy foreign minister said Wednesday.

"Americans are determined to leave the JCPOA, and changes at the country’s State Department were made in line with this goal, or at least it was one of the reasons," ISNA quoted Abbas Araqchi as saying during a meeting at the Iranian parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy on Wednesday.

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