“You’re going to see what I do,” said US President Donald Trump on March 20 when asked about his chosen course of action on the sanctions waivers due May 12; the waivers must be signed to prevent a US violation of the nuclear deal with Iran. The comments came as he received Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House, giving an impression that the US president is heading toward nixing the deal with Iran. In fact, there are many reasons to believe the landmark accord is heading toward an unhappy ending, at least when it comes to US adherence to it. In this vein, the recent appointment of Mike Pompeo as the new secretary of state has enhanced this notion around the world and in Iran in particular.
The view of Pompeo is very skeptical in Tehran; the fact that he’s highly critical of the Islamic Republic is the foundation of the concern. But his experience as CIA director adds to the apprehension and creates an atmosphere of uncertainty toward the future not only about the nuclear deal but regarding the matter of broader stability in the region.