The news from the Biden White House on the potential green light to restart nuclear negotiations with Iran was not well-received among Republicans, especially among former Trump officials. One of those who criticized the announcement was Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of State, who said that returning to a deal with Tehran could guarantee the Islamic regime a path to a nuclear arsenal.
“The ayatollah understands only strength. I led a response to the Iranian threat that protected the American people from its terror and supported the Jewish state of Israel,” Pompeo told the Washington Free Beacon. “Adopting the European Union’s model of accommodation (…) will guarantee Iran a path to a nuclear arsenal.”
Pompeo explained that the Trump Administration–which withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama-Biden Administration and other nations–”refused” to let the European countries “appease the Iranian theocracy” by taking a more aggressive foreign policy against the Islamic regime.
State Department spokesman Ned Price announced Thursday that the Biden Administration would “accept an invitation from the European Union High Representative to attend a meeting of the P5+1 and Iran to discuss a diplomatic path forward on Iran’s nuclear program.”
According to Pompeo, the Biden-Harris Administration must avoid the mistakes of the previous Iran nuclear deal negotiated and implemented by the Obama Administration.
Pompeo criticized the Biden-Harris Administration on Fox News
Earlier this week, during an appearance on Fox News @Night, Pompeo pushed back on comments by Secretary Antony Blinken, Pompeo’s successor, who claimed that the United States was disengaged in foreign policy during the Trump Administration.
“We were incredibly engaged and incredibly productive,” Pompeo told Fox News’ Shannon Bream.
Pompeo also said “The work that we did in the Middle East–whether it’s the Abraham accords in getting multiple countries to agree to recognize Israel, or the work we did to put the Iranian regime under pressure–those were good things for the American people. It created wealth, it created jobs here at home, and it kept us more safe as well.”
Bream subsequently asked Pompeo about how the Biden administration should respond appropriately to Iran’s aggressive behavior.
“When the Iranians perceive weakness, they attack,” Pompeo said. “What we did is when they came for an American, we made this very clear: whether they attacked an American through a proxy force in Iraq, whether they attacked an American through Hezbollah in Syria, wherever it was, wherever Iran was responsible, we were going to hold the Iranians accountable. That’s the kind of force that built the deterrence model that we had with respect to Iran. I hope this current administration doesn’t give up on that.”
Pompeo added, “we can’t go back. When President Biden talks about going back, the American people cannot afford to go back to those policies.”
According to Fox News, Pompeo also characterized the Obama-negotiated deal with Iran as a “crappy deal,” and said the Trump Administration did not allow that to happen.
Pompeo was not the only critic
Fox News also outlined how the press and other Republican leaders showed concern regarding the White House announcement on negotiations with Iran.
For example, The Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin wrote an op-ed detailing how the Biden-Harris Administration announcement came after an alleged Iraqi Shiite militia launched rockets at a U.S. air base in northern Iraq last Monday. The group is linked to Iran.
Rogin wrote that the Biden-Harris Administration refuses to acknowledge the perpetrators, despite the fact the militia group have claimed credit for the attack.
“Other Iranian proxies, such as the Houthis in Yemen, are not rewarding Biden’s more diplomatic approach with restraint — responding to outreach with new attacks on civilians,” Rogin wrote. “Meanwhile, leaders in Tehran are acting as if they have all the leverage, making demands and escalating their nuclear brinkmanship.”
Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Rebeccah Heinrichs commented that “Iran takes the cheating on the nuclear deal to the next level, fires rockets at Americans in Erbil just days ago, then threatens to keep nuclear inspectors out, and how does Biden respond? Absolutely chokes (…) And what a disastrous message to be sending to adversaries the world over.”
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also criticized the Biden Administration’s decision, calling the early decision “troubling” in what he deemed an apparent attempt to reenter the nuclear deal.