Tariq Al-Homayed
Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

Details of Soliemani’s Elimination

The memoirs of former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "Never Give an Inch, Fighting for the America I Love," offers remarkable insights about Iran. While much of what he tells us is not new, the details he goes into warrant a detailed discussion.

Pompeo not only served as chief US diplomat under former President Donald Trump but also as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - a position he held between January 2017 and April 2018.

In his book, Pompeo tells us two things as he discusses the lead-up to the decision to eliminate Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani on January 3, 2020, after his departure from Baghdad airport, and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, the founder of the Hezbollah Brigades in Iraq.

First, he says that on a visit he made to Baghdad as CIA chief, he met with the prime minister at the time, Haider al-Abadi, to persuade him not to obtain energy resources from Iran. At that time, Abadi replied: “Mr. Director, when you leave, Qassem Soleimani will come to see me. You can take my money. He will take my life.”

Second, he maintains that he realized early on that “the Iranian regime is just a terrorist organization” that has taken the form of a fully-fledged state. He concluded that the primary headquarters of Al-Qaeda is in Tehran and “not in Tora Bora in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, or Syria.”

Alright, these are the memoirs of a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and former Secretary of State. These claims cannot go unscrutinized. They are made by a man who has a lot of information that cannot be published, and he cannot say things on a whim.

Thus, the question here is, could the information Pompeo received about Iran’s terrorist activities and destructive actions in Iraq and the region only have been given to him personally? Or is this information available to US state agencies?

Is it possible that the Obama administration was unaware of the fact that, as Pompeo explains, the operational headquarters of Al-Qaeda was in Tehran, that “the Iranian regime is just a terrorist organization” that only looks like a fully-fledged state, and that Qassem Soleimani was a symbol of terrorism?

What Pompeo tells of Soleimani, through the story of his meeting with Abadi, or his affirmation that Al-Qaeda’s operational headquarters are in Tehran, was not unknown but open secrets. Nonetheless, the American media, despite some attempts to shed light on it, has met these revelations with silence.

General David Petraeus, who shared a similar story about Soleimani’s role in Iraq, was among those who tried to shed light on these dangerous matters. In early 2012, a senior Arab official told me personally that his intelligence services were tracking the now-eliminated terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as he moved back and forth from Iraq to Iran. There are similar examples.

And so, there can bd no doubt that security and intelligence information, like everything else, is being politicized in the United States. Otherwise, how could all this information about Iran and Soleimani be ignored, whether under the Obama administration or now under the Biden administration? It is indeed startling…and it seems that what's hidden is worse!