Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, telling reporters in Washington that it was the “right decision.”
An airstrike ordered by President Donald Trump killed Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Quds Forces, in Baghdad on Jan. 2.
Reporters and some lawmakers have challenged U.S. leaders who have repeatedly said they learned that Soleimani was planning an “imminent attack” on U.S. interests.
“If youre looking for imminence, you need look no further than the days that led up to the strike that was taken against Soleimani. And then you, in addition to that, have what we could clearly see were continuing efforts on behalf of this terrorist to build out a network of campaign activities that were going to lead, potentially, to the death of many more Americans,” Pompeo said on Jan. 7.
“It was the right decision. We got it right. The Department of Defense did excellent work and the president had an entirely legal, appropriate basis as well as a decision that fit perfectly within our strategy in how to counter the threat of malign activity from Iran more broadly.”
Pompeo said the claims that Soleimani was traveling to Baghdad on a diplomatic mission werent credible. “We know that wasnt true. We not only know the history, we know in that moment, that was not true.”