The director of the CIA warns the Iranian general about Iraq
Deb Riechmann, Associated Press
December 2, 2017
Updated: December 2, 2017 at 5:55 p.m.
Photo: Jacquelyn Martin, AP
ARCHIVE – On file photo of May 11, 2017, CIA Director Mike Pompeo listens while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington. Pompeo said on Saturday, December 2, 2017, that he sent a letter to a senior Iranian military official warning him that the United States would hold Tehran responsible for any attack it carried out on US interests in Iraq. Pompeo said Iran is trying to strengthen its influence throughout the Middle East.
ARCHIVE – In the archive photo of May 11, 2017, CIA Director Mike Pompeo …
WASHINGTON (AP) – CIA Director Mike Pompeo said on Saturday that he sent a letter to a senior Iranian military official warning him that the United States would hold Tehran accountable for any attack it carried out against US interests in Iraq.
Pompeo, who has expressed strong opposition to Iran, said he sent the letter to General Qbadem Soleimani, a leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran and elite Quds Force, but the general did not read it.
"I sent a note, I sent it because it indicated that the forces under its control could in fact threaten US interests in Iraq," Pompeo said in a defense forum. at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Institute and Foundation in Simi Valley, California. "He refused to open the letter, it did not break my heart to be honest with you."
"What we were communicating in that letter was that we would hold him and Iran accountable … and we wanted to make sure that he and the Iranian leadership understood that in a way that was very clear."
Pompeo said that Iran is working to strengthen its influence throughout the Middle East. As a Republican congressman from Kansas, Pompeo was very critical of Iran's nuclear agreement, which the United States and other nations negotiated with Tehran to lift sanctions in exchange for reductions in its nuclear program. Pompeo said Iran is currently complying with that agreement.
At a large round table, Pompeo did not answer questions about speculation that he could replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state. Pompeo, an open conservative, has a close relationship with President Donald Trump and personally offers an intelligence report to the president almost every day.
Pompeo declined to say whether he had had conversations with Trump about the possibility of replacing Tillerson, saying only that he was very focused on his work as director of the CIA.