Trump taps Pompeo as Tillerson's replacement: Iran sanctions to follow?

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But Steve Goldstein, a State Department undersecretary of state for public affairs, said Tillerson did not know why he was being pushed out and had meant to stay.

The president has chosen Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo to be his new secretary of state.

The reason for the latest rift was unclear, but Trump and Tillerson have often appeared at odds over policies such as the nuclear deal with Iran and the tone of United States diplomacy. Even so, Trump has continued to waive new sanctions against Iran, the key USA commitment under the agreement.

His harsh words came as President Donald Trump's critics regularly accuse his administration of failing to stand up to the Kremlin, especially over Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. "He will do a fantastic job!" "I think it's going to go very well".

That Iran deal, by the way, a signature accomplishment of the Obama administration, was a multi-country agreement between Iran and Western nations in which Iran would agree to curb aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions.

As undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, Goldstein was the fourth highest ranking official at the State Department.

Like most others in the diplomatic community, Tillerson learned of the President's announcement on Twitter - he heard from Mr. Trump by phone over three hours later.

UPDATE: Goldstein, the State Department spokesperson and Tillerson aide cited in this report, was sacked by the White House roughly three hours after releasing the statement, according to the Associated Press.

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"A great deal has been accomplished over the last fourteen months, and I wish him and his family well", Trump said, thanking Tillerson "for his service".

Or perhaps it's because, last autumn, reports emerged about Mr. Tillerson calling his boss a "moron" in private.

"The relationship between top management and the bulk of the State Department was toxic", said Ambassador James F. Jeffrey, a former senior diplomat and fellow at the Washington Institute, according to The New York Times.

While the White House said Tillerson was informed on Friday of his imminent dismissal, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday that White House chief of staff John Kelly called Tillerson on Friday to inform him that a presidential tweet about him may be coming but did not give any more details. Haley also opposes the Iran deal, and she has tried to rally the worldwide community behind the Trump administration's stance on Iran.

The reshuffle comes at a time of intense turnover within Trump's administration that has alarmed those both in and out of the White House. The confrontation centred on USA concerns over North Korea's nuclear arms and missile programs. Trump added: "But with Mike, we've had a very good chemistry right from the beginning".

Pompeo "holds a stance of pushing ahead with the U.S".

So Tillerson, who recently brought his Africa visit to an abrupt end to fly home, had after all been recalled home in order to be ousted from his position. "However, the Senate also has a role to play in this process, and I will carefully evaluate the nominations of Director Pompeo and Deputy Director Haspel as a part of that role".

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