Blinken: Iran has plotted to assassinate Pompeo, other top US officials while negotiating nuke deal
While U.S. work to deter assassination threats, American negotiators remain at the table in Vienna to work towards a deal.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
Secretary of State Antony Blinken indicated this week that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps continues to plot the assassination of both current and former top United States officials while talks regarding the Iran nuclear deal are still underway.
Blinken made the comments during his Senate Foreign Relations Committee testimony when Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz asked if it’s “true that the IRGC is actively trying to murder former senior officials of the U.S.?"
Blinken responded that "there is an ongoing threat against American officials both present and past."
He reportedly said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, under the previous Trump administration, has and continues to be a target.
In March, members of the IRGC were reported to be plotting the assassination of former National Security Advisor John Bolton even while American and Iranian diplomats mingled in Vienna. Secretary Blinken’s comments were first to suggest that currently U.S. officials are also being threatened.
While the U.S. is working to deter these open threats from the Iranian regime’s paramilitary group, American negotiators remain at the table in Vienna to work towards a deal.
Cruz asked Blinken flatly if the IRGC has been asked to stop plotting assassinations. Blinken responded that “one of the strong messages we send to them [Iranian negotiators] is they need to stop targeting our people… and they said they know what they would need to do to address this problem.”
Last month, media outlets reported the U.S. was open to removing IRGC’s terrorist designation in return for reaching a nuclear deal and receiving commitment to de-escalation of terrorist activities in Iran’s sphere of influence. These reports were followed up by word that Iran’s regime was interested in providing no such commitment.
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