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Pompeo says Iran is origin of threat to U.S. missions in Iraq

2018-10-03 19:12
U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO SPEAKING "Iran is the origin of the current threat to Americans in Iraq. It is to blame for the attacks against our mission in Basra and our embassy in Baghdad. Our intelligence, in this regard, is solid. We can see the hand of the ayatollah and his henchmen supporting these attacks on the United States. On Friday, I ordered the temporary relocation of U.S. government personnel from our consulate general in Basra. I also warned the Iranian government that we will hold it directly responsible for any harm to Americans or our diplomatic facilities, whether perpetrated by Iranian forces or by associated proxies or elements of those militias. These latest destabilizing acts in Iraq are attempt by the Iranian regime to push back on our efforts to constrain its malign behavior. Clearly, they see our comprehensive pressure campaign as serious and succeeding. And, we must be prepared for them to continue their attempts to hit back, especially after our full sanctions are reimposed--, reimposed on the 4th of November." REPORTER: "What other--, or what assurances can you give that this will not impact any humanitarian aid?" POMPEO: "The United States has been very clear: we will--, we will continue to make sure that we are providing humanitarian assistance in a way that delivers for the people we have spoken very clearly about -- the Iranian people. We care deeply about them. We will make sure that we continue to afford the flexibility, so that the assistance can be needed. Having said that: the choices that are being made inside of Iran today -- to use money to foment terror around the world, to launch ballistic missiles into airports throughout the Middle East, to arm proxy militias in Iraq and in Syria and in Lebanon -- those are dollars that the Iranian leadership is squandering. They could be providing humanitarian assistance to their own people but have chosen, instead, a different path -- a path of revolutionary effort around the world, showing utter disregard for the humanitarian needs of their own people." STORY: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran on Wednesday (October 3) for threats to American missions in Iraq and said the United States was terminating a treaty of amity with Tehran. "Iran is the origin of the current threat to Americans in Iraq," Pompeo told reporters at the State Department. "Our intelligence in this regard is solid. We can see the hand of the ayatollah and his henchmen supporting these attacks on the United States." The United States announced on Friday it will effectively close its consulate in the Iraqi city of Basra and relocate diplomatic personnel assigned there following increasing threats from Iran and Iran-backed militia, including rocket fire. The decision added to mounting tension between the United States and Iran, which is the target of increasing U.S. economic sanctions. On Wednesday, the World Court ordered the United States to ensure that sanctions against Iran, due to be tightened next month, do not affect humanitarian aid or civil aviation safety. Judges at the International Court of Justice handed a victory to Tehran, which had argued that sanctions imposed since May by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump violate the terms of a 1955 Treaty of Amity between the two countries. Washington responded by pulling out of the treaty, something Pompeo said should have been done decades ago. "We're disappointed that the court failed to recognize that it has no jurisdiction to issue any order relating to these sanctions measures with the United States, which is doing its work on Iran to protect its own essential security interests," Pompeo said. He said the United States would work to ensure it is providing humanitarian assistance to the Iranian people.