Pompeo: CIA to Become 'Much More Vicious' in Fighting Adversaries

CIA Director Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo / Getty Images
October 19, 2017

CIA Director Mike Pompeo expressed his support for President Donald Trump's recent decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal during an interview on Thursday before more generally discussing the agency's goal to be "more vicious" in fighting its adversaries.

Pompeo was participating in an on-stage interview with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance chairman Juan Zarate just days after President Donald Trump decertified Iran’s compliance with the deal, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Trump made the decision after he concluded the deal had merely delayed Iran’s nuclear program. The president said the deal's original hope that it "would curtail Iranian adventurism, the terror threat, proved to be fundamentally false."

Pompeo dodged the question on whether Iran had violated the nuclear deal on a technical level, and instead focused on the Islamic Republic’s continued testing of ballistic missiles and Hezbollah’s threat to Israel, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The CIA director, however, did admit the deal’s inspection provisions had improved the ability to follow Iran’s nuclear activities. He hopes Trump’s pressure on Iran will now lead to "more intrusive inspections."

Pompeo further expressed concern over the exchange of nuclear technology between Iran and North Korea, and said it was a major danger for the two to be assisting each other in the area of nuclear weapons testing.

Speaking broadly about his future actions at the CIA, Pompeo said it would "become a much more vicious agency" in fighting U.S. adversaries.