Pompeo's First Mission: Figure Out Who Actually Works At State Department

Iran says Tillerson firing shows US 'determined' to quit nuclear deal

Asian shares eased on Wednesday amid fears of rising U.S. protectionism as President Donald Trump fired his Secretary of State, regarded as a moderate in his administration, and eyes hefty tariffs on Chinese imports.

Deputy CIA director Gina Haspel will succeed Mr Pompeo, becoming the first woman to lead the agency.

Tillerson did have a good personal relationship with Trump, as Trump said on the White House lawn Tuesday morning. From the Times: "Mr. Tillerson and Jim Mattis, the defense secretary, had run something of a tag team to keep the president in check, finding common ground on policies from the Middle East to East Asia before stepping into the Situation Room".

Trump would also reportedly tell friends and advisers that Tillerson was "weak" and would often name off other people he thought would be better at the job. He walks into the office and he gets a 30% proposed cut to his budget, he can't hire anybody, he gets undercut by the president on diplomatic issues like North Korea.

Pompeo's hard-line views and blunt demeanor are precisely what endear him to Trump, who explained that his decision to fire Tillerson was based heavily on political differences, including on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The sacking of his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, had been predicted in Washington for some months, although the man himself appeared confident he could hold on. However, President Donald Trump has since spoken out in favor of the harsh interrogation of suspects.

"These changes and developments and firings in the Trump government are not new", Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said when asked at a news conference about the impact of Pompeo's appointment on the nuclear deal, according to state media.

"If Tillerson is out and Pompeo is in, some would see that as 'you have more advocates for a preventive attack if this diplomacy thing doesn't work, '" he said. Backed by the Pentagon, Tillerson has been orchestrating a way to keep the United States in the Iran nuclear deal. But the announcement came a day after Tillerson contradicted the White House about the recent poisoning of a British spy, saying it "clearly" came from Russia-a position disputed by the Trump administration.

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, who remains in Arizona, noted that Pompeo committed to not allowing the Central Intelligence Agency to return to the use of certain harsh interrogation practices.

Australia's embassy in Washington will contact the State Department to find an appropriate time for Ms Bishop to make contact with Mr Pompeo, ahead of his position being confirmed in April. "I think we need a diplomat".

Tillerson was not in the Oval Office last week when Trump abruptly chose to accept Kim's invitation, passed to him second-hand by a South Korean delegation, to denuclearization talks.

While Iran has reaped massive economic benefits from the accord, notably by being able to resume oil exports, it is still constrained by U.S. sanctions in other areas.

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