Biden should side with Israel, not ‘evil’ Iran, says Mike Pompeo

Former US secretary of state criticises administration's efforts to revive nuclear talks with Tehran

(FILES) In this file photo former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks on "China challenge to US national security and academic freedom," December 9, 2020, in Atlanta, Georgia.  Former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, a strident critic of China, on March 30, 2021 alleged that an international report into Covid's origins was a cover-up backed by Beijing. The long-awaited report by experts appointed by the World Health Organization and their Chinese counterparts said that the global pandemic likely came to humans from animals and that it was "extremely unlikely" the virus escaped from a laboratory in the city of Wuhan.
 / AFP / Tami Chappell
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Former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Wednesday urged President Joe Biden's administration to stand up for Israel by preventing “evil” Iran from building nuclear weapons.

Mr Pompeo condemned this week's talks in Vienna between Iran and France, Britain and Germany, and indirectly the US, about Washington rejoining a 2015 nuclear deal that was abandoned by the administration of president Donald Trump.

“I hope that each of the leaders in that room today and this week acknowledges that the regime is in fact evil," he said outside a New York Jewish centre.

"It is anti-Semitic. Indeed, it speaks of its genocidal intent while denying the Holocaust."

Mr Biden is seeking to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and other world powers, which lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for limits to its nuclear programme.

“America, which is the noblest force for good and for human rights in the world, cannot permit the return to a situation where the … capacity for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon is real,” Mr Pompeo said.

“I pray that we will move forward on a path that is decent and righteous and moral, and make sure that we always and forever defend those democracies in this world who are prepared to stand up for their own rights.”

Signatories to the deal will meet again on Thursday for talks aimed at finding a way for the US to re-enter the pact if Iran ceases stockpiling high-enriched uranium, which many fear could be used in weapons.

Mr Trump withdrew the US from the pact in 2018.

Mr Pompeo and other Trump administration officials imposed sanctions on Iran in a "maximum pressure" policy, which Tehran countered by resuming uranium enrichment and other breaches of the deal.