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Pompeo says Mideast strategy will be Trump administration policy 'until our time is complete'

Pompeo says Mideast strategy will be Trump administration policy 'until our time is complete'
© Greg Nash

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoBiden's State Department picks are a diplomatic slam dunk Kissinger tells Biden to go easy on China Saudi-Israeli diplomacy progresses amid looming Middle East challenges MORE said Sunday that no shift in U.S. policy towards Iran would occur in the remaining months of President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE's term in the White House.

During an interview with Saudi-owned broadcaster Al-Arabiya, which is based in Dubai, Pompeo said the Trump administration's policy singling out Iran as "the central threat inside the region" would remain unchanged, according to the Associated Press.

"It will be our policy until our time is complete," said the secretary, who like other members of the president's inner circle has not acknowledged President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Biden says staff has spoken with Fauci: 'He's been very, very helpful' MORE's victory in the 2020 election.

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“Our policies don’t change. Our duty doesn’t change. My responsibilities don’t change,” he continued. “I still have an obligation — every hour, every minute — to defend the American people and to keep them foremost in our efforts, and we’ll do that. We’ll do that to the very last minute.”

Biden has indicated that he will offer Iran's leadership “a credible path back to diplomacy" should Iran return to compliance with the nuclear agreement struck under the Obama administration in 2015. His policy is a sharp departure from that of the current president, who withdrew the U.S. from the agreement and has directed his administration to pursue a campaign of sanctions dubbed "maximum pressure" aimed at Iran's government and nuclear program.

The U.S. and Iran have appeared to be on the verge of direct military conflict multiple times throughout Trump's tenure in the White House, including at one point in 2019 when Iranian forced down a U.S. surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz, and after the U.S. killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, in a Baghdad drone strike in January.