U.S. Arms Control Official resigns

  14 May 2019    Read: 894
  U.S. Arms Control Official resigns

A top US arms control official and prominent Iran hawk has resigned from the State Department after serving just over a year in the position, said US officials and congressional aides familiar with the decision.

The State Department on Monday did not offer a statement explaining the planned departure of Yleem Poblete, the assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance, The Washington Post reported.

Her departure, which is expected to take effect in the coming weeks, creates a vacancy as the Trump administration faces major new threats and challenges specifically related to arms control.

During her tenure, Poblete reportedly clashed with her boss, Undersecretary of State Andrea Thompson, Vice President Pence’s former national security adviser, said the officials and aides familiar with the infighting.

In particular, disagreements surfaced over the State Department’s report on international compliance with arms control accords, the people said.

“The tension over the compliance report has been very real, and (Thompson’s office) is now demanding sign-off much earlier in the clearance process,” said one State Department official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss personnel moves.

Poblete was a favorite among hard-line anti-Iran groups such as the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which hosted her for a speech in July 2018 in which Poblete praised the US withdrawal from the Iran deal.

“The JCPOA was flawed at both the technical and political levels, and at the practical level,” she said in the speech, referring to the acronym for the 2015 deal.


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