Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed President Joe Biden’s administration as “living in a fantasy world” that is “disconnected from…reality” when it comes to Iran and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more commonly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal.
During an appearance on Fox News, Pompeo responded to the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s comments that former President Donald Trump’s decision to “[rip] up the nuclear deal” eliminated the “most robust inspection regime ever negotiated,” as well as “the tight restrictions on nuclear activity.”
“She’s living in a fantasy world, disconnected from the reality that was the JCPOA. It created a clear, maybe a bit delayed, but a clear path for a nuclear weapon. Not only that, but an entire program of nuclear weapons, Martha, that the Iranians would have had possession of,” Pompeo told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum.
Pompeo said now seven years since the deal was originally signed, the Biden administration “appears to be begging the Iranians to reenter an agreement that will run out in just a handful of years.”
“It doesn’t prevent the cataclysmic risk associated with Iran having a nuclear weapon. We were right to get out. And [if] we had four more years, I am confident the Ayatollah would have been faced with an incredible decision, difficult decision, about whether to capitulate at risk to his continued authority, or to sign a deal with the Trump administration,” Pompeo added. “I think they would have done that and we would have gotten a deal that actually precluded Iran from enriching uranium in a way that threatened Israel and the United States.”
In 2018, President Trump announced the U.S. was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and imposing the “highest level” economic sanctions against Iran. He called the deal “defective at its core” and a “disastrous deal” that gave the Iranian “regime of great terror” billions of dollars.
Trump said the Iranian regime is the “leading state sponsor of terror” and “no action taken by the regime has been more dangerous than its pursuit of nuclear weapons.”
“I am confident that we had Iran on its knees,” Pompeo continued. “They had less than 10 percent of the foreign exchange reserves left for themselves. We had denied them millions of barrels of oil sales and this administration is already not enforcing those sanctions. Iran is under less threat. The regime is under less threat today than it was when we were there. We supported the Iranian people. This administration has chosen to take a different tack and its given resources to the kleptocrats and theocrats running Iran today.”
Pompeo also criticized the Biden administration for actively negotiating with a regime that has repeatedly threatened to kill former President Trump, as well as top officials from his administration.
“Today we had, apparently, Iranian-backed militias attacking our embassy in Baghdad, I’ve seen a clip of the video where they’re now threatening to kill President Trump, and myself, and yet we have negotiators sitting at the table in Vienna,” Pompeo said. “The Iranian government, the Quds Force leaders themselves, have made clear that they want vengeance against President Trump and me for the strike that was taken against Gen. Soleimani, who was threatening American lives. We made the – President Trump made the right decision. I recommended it to him. We kept Americans safe. We were always prepared to do that.”
“Today, we’ve got negotiators sitting with the Iranians willing to give them money, resources, power, tools to continue to go build out their terror network around the world. It’s an enormous mistake. It puts our great ally Israel at risk. It puts our Gulf State friends in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates at risk, and Bahrain and Kuwait, all throughout the region, and certainly puts America at risk, as well,” he continued. “I can’t figure out for the life of me why we’re sitting in Vienna negotiating with an Iranian regime that is, as we sit there, attacking our diplomats in Baghdad and threatening former senior American officials.”