Trump’s top Iran envoy quits as US bids to extend Tehran embargo
By Julian Borger in Washington and Tom Phillips in Mexico City
Aug. 6, 2020
The Trump administration’s lead diplomat on Iran, Brian Hook, has announced his resignation days before the US attempts a high-stakes gambit against Tehran at the United Nations.
He will be replaced by Elliott Abrams, who will combine the Iran special representative job with his current role as special envoy for Venezuela. Abrams is a hawk on both countries – and has combined Iranian and Latin American issues before, when he was a significant figure in the Iran-Contra affair under the Reagan administration.
Hook, until now a rare survivor at the top levels of the state department in the maelstrom of the Trump era, did not give a reason for his resignation, claiming the “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran had been “very successful”.
The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, confirmed Hook’s departure and referred to him as “a trusted adviser to me and a good friend”, but did not give any reasons for his departure .
Pompeo added that Hook had “achieved historic results countering the Iranian regime”.