In public remarks to a right-wing advocacy group on Wednesday evening, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo once again stoked tensions with Iran — and disgraced his office by spreading falsehoods about the JCPOA nuclear agreement and the policies of the Obama administration.
Speaking on the 16th anniversary of Congress’ vote to invade Iraq — Secretary Pompeo’s rhetoric made clear that the Trump administration is pushing our country down the path to another catastrophic war of choice in the Middle East. Doubling down on the president’s demand for Iran’s complete and unconditional capitulation on a range of issues, Pompeo again sought to stoke rather than reduce tensions in a volatile region.
Pompeo’s remarks demonstrate that the Trump administration’s penchant for spreading malicious disinformation extends to State Department leadership as well. By claiming that the Obama administration “showed more respect to the leaders of Iran than to the people of Israel,” Pompeo defamed a US administration that provided unprecedented military support and security cooperation to Israel and worked tirelessly to promote a better future for Israel and the wider region. Pompeo also claimed that a majority of the US public opposed the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement, despite public polling showing that a clear majority approve of the agreement, including in the American Jewish community — where approval has been even higher than among the general US population.
Pompeo’s speech is just the latest warning sign that the president has surrounded himself with a regime change-obsessed war cabinet that is encouraging his most dangerous impulses on foreign policy. In response to this threat, members of Congress are increasingly affirming their constitutional responsibility to check the president’s war-making powers. A bipartisan group of senators is now supporting a new bill, introduced last month by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), that would prevent President Trump from launching a war against Iran without obtaining congressional authorization.
J Street continues to urge members to support this kind of legislation, and to do everything in their power to restrain this administration before it’s too late.