US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (above left) compared President Donald Trump to Esther, the biblical Jewish queen of Persia whose heroism saves the Jews of her country. The story of Esther forms the basis of the Jewish story of Purim.
Speaking with the Christian Broadcasting Network during a trip to the Middle East on Thursday, Pompeo was asked if he believed Trump was like Esther, due to his hardline stance against Iran.
“As a Christian, I certainly believe that’s possible,” Pompeo said. He was later criticized for holding a press conference open only to “faith-based” journalists.
Pompeo condemns Hezbollah
On Friday, Pompeo condemned Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah after a meeting in Beirut with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil (above right), all of whom are politically allied with Hezbollah.
Pompeo accused the group of “criminality, terror and threats.” He said that Iran gave the organization as much as $700 million (€620 million) last year.
Standing next to Pompeo, Bassil called Hezbollah “a Lebanese party — not terrorist — with MPs elected by the Lebanese people and with a lot of popular support.”
The US secretary of state, however, said he believed that the Trump administration’s pressure on Iran was “working,” adding that it was “already constraining Hezbollah’s activities.”
Hezbollah has a large militia-based wing that supported the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.
Source: DW (AP, Reuters)