On Thursday morning at NRB 2021, Joel Rosenberg, editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS, interviewed Mike Pompeo, former CIA Director and Secretary of State under the Trump administration. The two discussed Israel and the Middle East, the Abraham Accords, and international religious freedom.
In the place where Christianity, Islam, and Judaism all originated, the Middle East does not exhibit the peace that one might have expected. War has always been at the forefront of the region, but Pompeo discussed some of the achievements the Trump administration made in the region in efforts to make it a safer place.
Pompeo highlighted the defeat of the terrorist organization, ISIS, which in effect opened religious freedom for Christians in Iraq, as well as improving relations with the Saudi Prince. In addition to driving out ISIS, Pompeo praised former President Trump for moving the United States embassy to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.
Pompeo pointed to Iran to highlight the different policies of the Trump Administration and the current Biden Administration regarding Israel and the Middle East. President Biden is currently trying to work with the Iranian regime in such a way that could potentially give Iran a pathway to acquiring a nuclear weapon.
“This would give them a coercive influence in the Middle East,” Pompeo warned.
He stressed that this would be bad for the United States’ most trusted ally, Israel, for the Gulf states, and for the United States. Pompeo views Iran as one of the current greatest enemies of the United States as Iran supports Hamas, a terrorist organization primarily in the Gaza Strip.
“We addressed the world that we saw, not the world that we wished existed,” Pompeo said about his time working under the Trump administration.
Rosenberg pointed out that the Trump administration had very different strategies than the current Biden Administration. According to Rosenberg, President Biden believes that if the United States just gives Iran money and respect to assist them in joining the global community, then relations will improve. Pompeo affirmed this understanding.
“Iran is an ideological regime that seeks to eliminate Israel from the face of the earth,” Pompeo said. “And no accommodations are going to change their revolutionary zeal.”
Pompeo said he believed it was important to stress that his Christian belief impacted his decisions as Secretary of State. If a country did not treat its citizens as if they are made in the image of God, then the best interest of the United States to secure freedom was to approach that country with a lot more caution and boldness.
Perhaps the most crowning foreign policy achievement from Pompeo’s time serving as the Secretary of State was the Abraham Accords. Arab states surrounding the nation of Israel have a history of wanting Israel’s destruction. However, with the 2020 Abraham Accords, Bahrain and the UAE joined two other Arab states (Jordan and Egypt) in normalizing diplomatic relations with Israel. This was a significant step toward peace in the region.
At the close of the session, NRB CEO Troy Miller presented the 2021 NRB President’s Award to former Secretary Pompeo for his work protecting religious freedom and the persecuted church around the world. The NRB President’s award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the faith and values upheld by the association—and more importantly by the scriptures.