WASHINGTON (Dispatches) -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the reason why his country assassinated top Iranian anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani was to protect American resources.
Pompeo was speaking with Saudi news network, Al Arabiya, saying the U.S. murdered General Soleimani to safeguard its assets in Iraq, its people in Syria and, in fact, Americans all across the world.
Pompeo claimed the assassination was an opportunity to stop what he called an imminent attack on U.S. positions.
“General Soleimani was engaged in a plot to kill another 500 Americans. We had the opportunity to take down that plot, and we did,” he said.
“It was a project that we had been engaged in continuously and then we had this opportunity to stop what was an imminent attack on U.S. resources, U.S. assets, U.S. people and ... the president made the decision to just do that.”
General Soleimani was the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and was assassinated in January 2020.
Pompeo said Washington had been monitoring Quds Force activities. He also said Iran had already warned there would be a war if Washington withdrew from the 2015 deal, moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Al-Quds and killed Soleimani. However, Pompeo said, the U.S. did all that and there was no war.
The assassination, which took place on January 3, 2020 near Baghdad airport, also killed the general’s companions, including deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Both commanders were highly revered across the Middle East because of their key role in fighting the Daesh terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.
Zeinab Soleimani, the legendary commander’s daughter, lauded his father’s battle against takfiri terrorists in the West Asia region, pointing to US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s admission of Gen. Soleimani’s counter-terrorism achievements.
“Pompeo whines about Iran on Saudi TV. Home of 9/11 plotters. Jake Sullivan said Al-Qaeda ‘is on our side in Syria,’ but Soleimani crushed the terrorists,” Zeinab wrote.
“Iraq’s Adil Abdul Mahdi said he & dad were to meet that morning to explore regional de-escalation,” she added, referring to Iraq’s former prime minister. “Live in fear liar.”
American intelligence officials later affirmed that there was no such evidence as to the involvement of General Soleimani’s plan for an attack on U.S. forces.
Pompeo is on record to have admitted to an audience in 2019, “I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated and we stole. We’ve a training course just for that.”
“It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment,” Pompeo said at College Station, Texas.
A senior Iranian official said Saturday the United States has always spread lies to cover up its defeats ranging from Afghanistan to South America.
Iran’s special representative for Afghanistan, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, made the remarks in a post on his Twitter account in response to Pompeo’s remarks.
“Let’s update our minds first and accept that lying and hiding [the facts] are among the U.S. features,” Kazemi Qomi tweeted.
“It is natural that the reality goes missing in a system that wastes millions of dollars a year to protect Pompeo,” he added.
“And Washington portrays its record which is replete with defeats [ranging] from Afghanistan to South America with lies,” the Iranian official said.
The U.S. State Department has said it’s paying more than $2 million per month to provide 24-hour security to Pompeo and a former top aide to protect them from Iran’s retaliation.
“Martyr Soleimani had repeatedly humiliated Pompeo in the region and they thought they won by assassinating him,” Quds Force chief Brigadier General Esmail Qa’ani has said.
Five days after the assassination, in a military operation codenamed Operation Martyr Soleimani, the IRGC launched a volley of ballistic missiles at the Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq’s western province of Anbar and at another airbase in Erbil in the Kurdistan Region.
According to the Pentagon, more than 100 American forces suffered “traumatic brain injuries” during the counterstrike on the base.
Iran said missile strike was only a “first slap” in its process of taking “hard revenge” and that it would not rest under the U.S. military leaves the Middle East in disgrace.