The U.S. military operation Thursday that killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, has “made the world a much safer place,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview with CNN Friday morning.
“I can assure you that Americans in the region are much safer today after the demise of Qassem Soleimani… as for the protests that you described, there’s no doubt the last vestiges of theocracy, the kleptocracy in Iran will continue to try and put down these uprisings from the people. They’ve jailed thousands, they’ve killed hundreds. It won’t surprise me if they try to continue to do that,” said Pompeo.
He continued, “But know this, the Iranian people understand that America is a force for good in the region and I’m convinced that the support that we have provided to the people of Iran and the support that we continue to provide for the people in Iraq will work for American interests and make lives better for those people as well.”
On Friday, Pompeo continued to reach out to counterparts throughout the world explaining the U.S. decision to strike Soleimani.
He said on Twitter that he told Chinese Politburo Member Yang Jeichi about Soleiman’s plans to imminently threaten American lives and “I reiterated our commitment to de-escalation.”
I spoke today with Chinese Politburo Member Yang Jiechi to discuss @realDonaldTrump's decision to eliminate Soleimani in response to imminent threats to American lives. I reiterated our commitment to de-escalation.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 3, 2020
Soleimani was planning to carry out an imminent attack on Americans in the region. However, at the directive of President Donald Trump, the U.S. military put a stop to it by striking Soleimani, who was in a vehicle convoy near the Baghdad airport. Seven people in the convoy were killed in the U.S. airstrike.
“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” a Defense Department spokesman said late Thursday. “General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.”