During the Trump administration’s four years, its second state secretary, Mike Pompeo, has not been known for being soft towards Tehran, as he is known to be a “maximum pressure” campaign apologist, with his State Department claiming that Iran is “world’s leading state sponsor of terror”.
Outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will deliver a speech on Tuesday, in which it is presumed that he will accuse Iran of links to al-Qaeda*, Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.
According to the report, Pompeo will refer to newly-declassified intelligence on the killing of al-Qaeda’s suspected second-in-command in Tehran in August. The anonymous sources do not, however, specify how much Pompeo intends to reveal.
Biden’s advisers believe, as noted by Reuters, that the Trump administration is making efforts to make it difficult for the incoming Cabinet to improve US relations with Iran. According to Reuters, some US officials claimed that more sanctions against the Islamic republic are to come.
The President-elect, who is mulling the possibility of Washington returning to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), noted that it would only be plausible if “Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal”.
Relations between the countries are still strained, however, as Iran has been targeted by the White House after Trump unilaterally exited the nuclear deal in 2018 and imposed harsh economic sanctions.