Secretary of State Rex Tillerson walks down a hallway after speaking at a news conference at the State Department in Washington, Tuesday, March 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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WASHINGTON/PARIS/BRUSSELS: It is unclear how Mike Pompeo becoming U.S. secretary of state may affect the Iran nuclear deal given that there is only one voice that counts in President Donald Trump's administration: his own. Trump's choice of the Central Intelligence Agency director to replace Rex Tillerson means an Iran hawk who fiercely opposed the 2015 pact as a member of Congress will now be in charge of the U.S. diplomacy trying to strengthen, and perhaps save, it.Trump sees three defects in the deal: its failure to address Iran's ballistic missile program; the terms under which international inspectors can visit suspect Iranian nuclear sites; and "sunset" clauses under which limits on the Iranian nuclear program start to expire after 10 years. He wants all three strengthened if the U.S. is to stay in the deal.European diplomats saw some chance Pompeo may have more influence over Trump than Tillerson, who antagonized the U.S. president by reportedly calling him a "moron" and who differed with Trump on Iran and other issues.
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