CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Saturday that he sent a letter to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and elite Quds Forces Commander Gen. Qasem Soleimani, warning him that the United States “will hold Iran accountable for any attacks on U.S. interests in Iraq.”
“I had sent a note to Qasem Soleimani,” Pompeo told Fox News anchor Bret Baier at an annual defense forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Simi Valley, California. “I sent it because he had indicated that forces under his control might, in fact, threaten U.S. interests in Iraq. His commander has also indicated an increased willingness to potentially attack U.S. forces that are in Iraq, with the consent of the Iraqi government.”
DCIA Pompeo: Sent letter to General Soleimani & Iranian leaders expressing concerns re Iran’s increasingly threatening behavior in Iraq. US forces supporting Iraqi Government, at its request, in its fight against ISIS & helping to stabilize country after years of conflict.#RNDF
— CIA (@CIA) December 3, 2017
Soleimani did not open Pompeo’s letter.
“He refused to open the letter,” Pompeo said. “Didn’t break my heart, to be honest with you.” He added:
What we were communicating to him, in that letter, is that we will hold he and Iran accountable for any attacks on U.S. interests in Iraq, by forces that are under their control. And we wanted to make sure he, and the leadership in Iran, understood that in a way that was crystal clear. We’re there on an important mission, on behalf of the Iraqi government [and] we intend to stay there so long as the Iraqi government wants us there to continue to perform that important mission.
He said the Iranian regime’s efforts to become the Middle East’s hegemonic power have grown. “There is no doubt about that,” he said. “You need only look to the past few weeks and the efforts of the Iranians to exert influence now in Northern Iraq, in addition to other places in Iraq, to see that Iranian’s efforts to be the hegemonic power throughout the Middle East continues to increase.”
Last month, Soleimani told a group of Iranian soldiers in Al-Bukamal, Syria, that U.S. forces soldiers wore diapers on the battlefields of Iraq so they could urinate when scared.
“Look at the American forces today. They are more than one million strong,” Soleimani said to the group. “But despite their numbers and their capabilities, they are cowards. When they arrived in Iraq, they brought diapers for their soldiers so that they could urinate in them when scared. You, on the other hand, have achieved victory with light weapons, Why? Because you are willing to make sacrifices.”