According to this new report, Tillerson was fired for caving to pressure and appeasing Iran in order to save the Iran deal:
FREE BEACON – The abrupt firing Tuesday of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson follows months of infighting between the State Department and White House over efforts by Tillerson to save the Iran nuclear deal and ignore President Donald Trump’s demands that the agreement be fixed or completely scrapped by the United States, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.
In the weeks leading up to Tillerson’s departure, he had been spearheading efforts to convince European allies to agree to a range of fixes to the nuclear deal that would address Iran’s ongoing ballistic missile program and continued nuclear research.
While Trump had prescribed a range of fixes that he viewed as tightening the deal’s flaws, Tillerson recently caved to European pressure to walk back these demands and appease Tehran while preserving the deal, according to these sources. The Free Beacon first disclosed this tension last week in a wide-ranging report.
White House allies warned Tillerson’s senior staff for weeks that efforts to save the nuclear deal and balk on Trump’s key demands regarding the deal could cost Tillerson his job, a warning that became reality Tuesday when Trump fired Tillerson by tweet.
Tillerson will be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, a former member of Congress who established a record as being tough on Iran and echoing many of the policies called for by Trump. Insiders expect Pompeo to take a much harder line on the nuclear deal and pursue many of the fixes advocated by Trump, such as outlawing Iran’s ballistic missile program and instating fierce repercussions for any future breach.
While Tillerson’s exit had been rumored for months, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation said the former secretary’s repeated attempts to balk the White House and pursue his own diplomatic strategy, particularly regarding Iran, triggered his sudden exit.
I think this is quite believable, especially considering that their differences on the Iran deal is exactly what Trump mentioned this morning when discussing why he fired Tillerson (skip ahead to 1:00 minute mark):
President Trump praises nominee to replace Rex Tillerson, Mike Pompeo: "we're always on the same wavelength."— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 13, 2018
"Rex and I have been talking about this for a long time, we got along actually quite well, but we disagreed on things." pic.twitter.com/4U1m8AbovQ