Pompeo says Soleimani killing part of new strategy to deter U.S. foes
By Humeyra Pamuk, Jonathan Landay
January 14, 2020
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday said Qassem Soleimani was killed as part of a broader strategy of deterring challenges by U.S. foes that also applies to China and Russia, further diluting the assertion that the top Iranian general was struck because he was plotting imminent attacks on U.S. targets.
In his speech at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, Pompeo made no mention of the threat of imminent attacks planned by Soleimani. It only was in response to a question that he repeated his earlier assertion that pre-empting such plots was the reason for the Jan. 3 American drone strike on Iran’s second most powerful official.
His speech, “The Restoration of Deterrence: The Iranian Example,” focused on what he called an administration strategy to establish “real deterrence” against Iran following earlier Republican and Democratic policies that encouraged Tehran’s “malign activity.”
Democratic and some Republican lawmakers have challenged the administration over the self-defense rationale supported by undisclosed intelligence over imminent attacks. U.S. President Donald Trump has said the potential targets included four U.S. embassies.