Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed without evidence on Tuesday that attempts by Iran to kill former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other former and current US officials are real and ongoing.
Blinken told Congress he was confirming the details of a State Department report that was made public last month. According to the document, Blinken has decided to extend a taxpayer-funded security detail for Pompeo and Brian Hook, who served as a special envoy for Iran under Pompeo.
“I’m not sure what I can say in an open setting, but let me say generically that there is an ongoing threat against American officials, both present and past,” Blinken said. “We are making sure and we will make sure for as long as it takes that we’re protecting our people, present and former, if they’re under threat.”
The State Department is spending $2 million a month to protect Pompeo and Hook and has spent a total of $13 million on the effort. According to the report, Blinken extended the security detail due to “a serious and credible threat from a foreign power or agent of a foreign power arising from duties performed by former Secretary Pompeo while employed by the department.”
As President Trump’s secretary of state, Pompeo oversaw the so-called “maximum pressure campaign” that reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran. He was also a major supporter of the plan to assassinate Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by a US drone strike in Baghdad in January 2020.
Iranian officials have said they would seek revenge for Soleimani’s killing if Trump and Pompeo aren’t put on trial. But besides the rhetoric and claims from the US government, there are no indications Iran is making assassination attempts on US soil.
Blinken’s claim came as all signs indicate the Biden administration is about to abandon negotiations with Tehran to revive the Iran nuclear deal. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki falsely claimed on Tuesday that Iran is “weeks away” from developing a nuclear bomb even though they have no uranium enriched at weapons-grade.