CIA director sent warning to top Iranian general on Iraq

CIA Director Mike Pompeo said he sent a top Iranian general a letter warning the U.S. would hold Tehran responsible for any attacks the Islamic republic conducted against American interests in Iraq.

Pompeo said he sent the letter to Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and elite Quds Force. However, he said the Iranian commander did not read it.

“I sent a note. I sent it because he had indicated that forces under his control might in fact threaten U.S. interests in Iraq,” Pompeo said at a defense forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Simi Valley, California. “He refused to open the letter — didn’t break my heart to be honest with you.”

“What we were communicating to him in that letter was that we will hold he and Iran accountable … and we wanted to make sure that he and the leadership of Iran understood that in a way that was crystal clear.”

In Iran, Mohammad Mohammadi Golpaygani, the chief of staff for the country’s supreme leader, said Soleimani ignored the letter. “Recently, when … the CIA chief through one of his contacts in the region sent a letter to Gen. Soleimani, he responded by saying, ‘I did not either receive or read the letter. I have nothing to tell these people’,” Golpaygani said. [source]

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Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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