The secretary of defense alleges “national security” to justify the lack of complete information to Congress about the attack on Soleimani
NEW YORK, Jan. 12 (EUROPE PRESS) –
The United States Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, has assured that his country this Sunday is completely willing to sit at a dialogue table with Iran, “without preconditions”, with the ultimate goal of “normalizing”, in his words, the situation of the Islamic republic on the international scene at a time of maximum tension between the two countries.
The death of the powerful Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in an American attack on January 3 in Iraq has triggered one of the biggest crises seen in the region. Iran responded with attacks on two bases in Iraq with an American presence and ended up accidentally shooting down a civilian plane by confusing it with a missile. The 176 occupants of the device died.
These incidents took place after Shia militias besieged the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the historic nuclear pact signed in 2015 ended in wet paper after Washington decided to dissociate from it in 2018 and restore sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
In this very difficult context, Esper has maintained optimism by ensuring that the United States “is willing to negotiate a new path forward, and a series of steps through which Iran would become a more normal country,” he said. explained in an interview with the US chain CBS.
Esper has acknowledged that the Iranian authorities “remain the legitimate government”, before accusing them of “being corrupt.” However, “President Trump has no preconditions other than saying that we are willing to meet with the Iranian government.”
Also, Esper has supported the protests that are taking place in recent days in Iran against the authorities for hiding their responsibility in the demolition of the Ukrainian plane. “You can see that the Iranian people have stood up and are asserting their rights , their aspirations for a better government, a different regime, “said Esper.
The secretary of defense eluded to give more information about the justification of the attack that killed the Iranian general beyond the “threat” cited by Trump and his circle of advisors, but did not verify the president's words about the possible attack against four US embassies that Soleimani, supposedly, was orchestrating.
“We had information that there would be an attack in a matter of days that would be large-scale. The president understood that it could be attacks against additional embassies and I shared that opinion,” according to Esper, who insisted that Soleimani's death “interrupted” that threat. “I think what we have to discover now is to continue working to make sure that threat is completely eliminated,” he added.
Finally, Esper lamented the malaise among some members of the broader sector of the United States Congress, lacking access to the highest secret information, about the lack of information on the reasons for the attack, and used national security reasons to justify data shortage
“I understand the frustration of members of Congress, but they will have access to that information. They would have it if we did not jeopardize our sources and our methods. And I think the president thinks the same,” he said.