He denies that Soleimani was in Baghdad on diplomatic mission
MADRID, Jan. 7 (EUROPE PRESS) –
The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said Tuesday that killing Iranian General Qasem Soleimani “was the right decision” and that Washington “did well” by executing the bombing against him in the capital of Iraq, Baghdad.
“The Department of Defense did an excellent job,” he said, before stressing that US President Donald Trump “had all the legal right” to carry out the bombing, which “fits perfectly” with the strategy against Tehran .
Thus, he assured that the president told “in detail” before taking the decision on the attack. “We gave him the best information not only from the Intelligence community, but from the teams we have on the ground,” he said.
“We assess the relevant risks and the opportunity that we think might arise at some point,” said Pompeo, who reiterated that Soleimani was involved “in a massacre in Syria and in a huge destruction in countries like Lebanon and Iraq.”
“Then we saw how the terror campaign in the region continued,” he said. “If imminence is sought (to justify the attack), we must not look beyond the days that preceded the bombing of Soleimani,” he explained.
In this regard, he has referred to the projectile attack against a military base in the vicinity of the Iraqi city of Kirkuk, which resulted in the death of an American contractor and several Iraqi and American soldiers wounded.
“We could clearly see the continuation of efforts on behalf of this terrorist to build a network of activities that would potentially lead to the death of many more Americans,” he argued.
On the other hand, he has described as “propaganda” the information that suggests that Soleimani was in Baghdad on a diplomatic mission. “Does anyone believe that?” He asked himself.
“Is there any history that indicates that it is remotely possible that this kind gentleman, this great order diplomat, Qasem Soleimani, had traveled to Baghdad with the idea of carrying out a peace mission?” He has questioned.
“We know that this is not true,” he said, while accusing Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohamad Yavad Zarif, of being “a leading propagandist.” “It's not new. We've heard these same lies before,” he said.
In this way, Pompeo stressed that Soleimani “was not there on a diplomatic mission trying to solve a problem”, before stating that he has seen the information that points to the Iranian general taking part in an effort to reduce tensions with Saudi Arabia.
“I have spoken extensively with my Saudi counterparts. I will let it be they who reveal the content of their messages, but I can assure you that they share my point of view, that I was not there representing any kind of agreement that would reduce the risk to the life of Americans, “he said.
“CONFRONT AND CONTAIN”
In another order of things, the US secretary of state has stressed that Washington “has put Iran in a place where it had not been before” and has forced Tehran to “make some very difficult elections.”
“This is a change from where we were eight years ago. It is not political. The previous administrations made a different choice. They chose to secure and appease. We have chosen to confront and contain,” he explained.
Pompeo has indicated that he considers the US position under the Trump Administration “to be successful.” “We believe it will be successful in getting Iran to behave like an Iranian nation,” he said.
Thus, he pointed out that through this route “they will be denied the ability to maintain their nuclear program and threaten not only the Americans … but also create improved stability throughout the Middle East.”
“Our policy on Iran is based on protecting and defending the homeland and ensuring the safety of American lives. I know that the efforts we have made, not only last week with the bombing against Soleimani, but the strategy we have employed, has saved American lives, “he has settled.
THE DEATH OF SOLEIMANI
Soleimani died along with 'number two' of the Popular Mobilization Forces (FMP), Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, and several Iraqi militiamen and Iranian military in a US-executed bombing at the airport in the capital of Iraq, Baghdad.
Washington argued that it carried out the attack “to protect US personnel abroad”, following protests against its embassy in Baghdad in protest against another bombing in which 25 members of the FMP died.
Bombings against the FMP were executed in response to the death of an American contractor in a projectile attack against a military base located near Kirkuk.
The Iraqi Government has condemned these attacks by the United States and recalled that the FMPs are a fundamental element in the fight against the Islamic State.
In this regard, he has denounced that the bombings were carried out unilaterally and in violation of the agreements reached with the international coalition that Washington is leading in the fight against jihadists.
Therefore, the Iraqi Parliament approved on Sunday a motion that requires the expulsion of US troops from the country and obliges the Government to commit to making public any agreement reached in the future for the presence of foreign military advisers and trainers.
During the day on Monday, the Iraqi Executive limited the activities of the international coalition and reduced them to training and advisory work, prohibiting their movements by land and air.