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April 12, 2018 9:51 am

US Secretary of State Nominee Pompeo: Iran’s Activities Threaten Israel’s ‘Very Existence’

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US secretary of state nominee, CIA Director Mike Pompeo (far left), alongside Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Photo: Reuters / Jonathan Ernst.

US President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state warned on Thursday that Iran’s activities in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon “threaten the very existence of Israel.”

“Iran’s activities in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon threaten the very existence of Israel, and the global reach of Hezbollah threatens us right here in the homeland,”  Mike Pompeo — currently director of the CIA — was expected to tell senators at his confirmation hearing on Thursday morning.

In an an advance copy of his remarks to the senators, Pompeo was quoted as saying that Iran has not paid enough of a price for its “dangerous activities.”

“Our administration has developed a strategy to counter Iran to raise that cost,” Pompeo said. “The issues surrounding Iran’s proliferation threat are real and we, along with our allies, must deal with the long-term risk that its capability presents.”

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Pompeo argued that the challenge posed by Iran was much wider that the nuclear issue alone. “We cannot let the nuclear file prevent us from acting against Iran’s cyber efforts or its attempts to provide missiles to the Houthis to attack Saudi Arabia and Americans who travel there,” he said.

Pompeo also hinted that the JCPOA — the nuclear deal with Iran reached with six world powers in July 2015 — will continue to be approached with critical scrutiny.

“President Trump is prepared to work with our partners to revise the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to fix its most egregious flaws,” he said. “If confirmed, it will be an immediate personal priority to work with those partners to see if such a fix is achievable.  The stakes are high for everyone, but especially Tehran.”

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