A former Iranian diplomat says sacked US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson played a key role in keeping Washington from pulling out of the JCPOA over the past 15 months.
Kourosh Ahmadi said in an interview with the Persian-language Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) that US President Donald Trump might have withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal by now if it weren’t for Tillerson.
He touched upon Trump’s move to remove Tillerson from power, saying, “The dismissal of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State was not an unexpected issue. It had been clear for months that Trump and Tillerson had differences and were not able to continue their cooperation.”
Trump, Tillerson Divided over JCPOA
The analyst further referred to an article published by the New York Times which predicted that Tillerson would soon be axed and replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
“It had been revealed over the past 15 months that Tillerson and Trump did not see eye to eye on a whole range of issues, namely the Paris deal, the North Korea crisis, the kind of cooperation with China over trade issues and tariffs, and the JCPOA,” said the analyst.
Differences between Trump, Tillerson Coming to Light
Ahmadi underlined that divisions between the two men on numerous issues had come to light and had been reported by media.
“During the 15 months that Tillerson was Secretary of State of the US, he put forward ideas that were against Trump’s views. He even called Trump a ‘moron.’ […].”
Although Tillerson said that he had a good relationship with Trump, it was clear that the two were split on several issues.
Tillerson against Abrupt Withdrawal from JCPOA
The analyst said Tillerson opposed a sudden pullout from the deal and believed that Washington needed to work with its European partners before any possible pullout. In fact, Tillerson believed the US needed to take the EU as well as the Democrats on board with any action regarding the JCPOA.
Tillerson Confirmed Iran’s Abidance by JCPOA
Ahmadi went on to say that Tillerson was a member of the key committees and Trump could not turn a blind eye to his viewpoints.
“In the first and second rounds when Trump confirmed Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA, it was clear from Tillerson’s remarks and from the leaked reports that the secretary of state had a major role in urging Trump to corroborate Tehran’s compliance,” the analyst noted.
Pompeo Agrees with Trump on JCPOA
The analyst underlined that Pompeo was one of the toughest opponents of the JCPOA when he was a member of the House of Representatives.
“Pompeo’s remarks over the past two years suggest he and Trump are on the same page when it comes to Iran and the JCPOA,” said Ahmadi. He added that Pompeo is an ardent loyalist to Trump.
The analyst said Iran can foil efforts by the radical camp in the US by adopting proper policies.