Trump’s sacking of Rex Tillerson portends further turmoil in US-Iran relations
As CIA chief and Iran hawk Mike Pompeo prepares to run the State Department, the Trump administration is weighing a speedier withdrawal from the agreement than even the president has threatened.
“Between now and then, I will address a few administrative matters related to my departure and work towards a smooth and orderly transition for Secretary of State-designate, Mike Pompeo,” said the outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Gina Haspel has been chief of station at CIA outposts abroad. In Washington, she has held several senior leadership positions, including deputy director of the National Clandestine Service.
Trump thanked Rex Tillerson for his service to the nation as the Secretary of State.
Rex Tillerson, whose relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin dates back to his days as Exxon Mobil’s CEO, has sought to work with Russia on narrow areas where the two countries could find common ground.
Tillerson, a former Exxon chief executive, is seeking to bolster security alliances on a continent increasingly turning to Beijing for aid and trade.
“The Egyptian people should be confident that the US commitment to continue to support Egypt in the fight against terrorism and bringing security to Egyptian people is steadfast,” said Tillerson
“Our only objective is to see Venezuela return to its constitution, return its duly elected assembly, to hold free and fair elections,” Tillerson said. He is on a five-country Latin American tour.
Tillerson’s February 1-7 trip covers Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Colombia and Jamaica.
“We are holding Russia (responsible) for addressing this. They are (Syria’s) ally,” said Rex Tillerson.
European top diplomats reasserted their commitments to Iran nuclear deal ahead of Trump’s decision. Tillerson said that the US diplomatic team will discuss US concerns about the accord with the European officials “in a package.”
Rex Tillerson rejected the suggestion that Donald Trump might see Britain as less useful now it was embroiled in Brexit and other political issues.
Rex Tillerson illustrated how the US would continue trying to isolate Assad’s government even as the US objective is “stabilisation.”
“We have to recognise that the threat is growing and that if North Korea does not choose the pathway of engagement, discussion, negotiation then they themselves will trigger an option,” Tillerson said.