An intelligence report has suggested that Iran may try to assassinate Donald Trump and other US officials in revenge for the drone strike which killed Iranian military officer Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
In 2020, then President Trump ordered a targeted drone strike to assassinate Soleimani while the decorated general was visiting Iran.
He had been on his way to meet Iraqi prime minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi when the surprise attack was launched as Soleimani arrived at Baghdad airport.
He was killed alongside five Iraqi nationals and four Iranian nationals, all of whom were heavily involved in militia activities and at least one was on the US terrorist list.
Officials said the group had been “responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more” and that the elimination of the group was necessary to stop “an escalating series of attacks…to protect United States personnel, to deter Iran from conducting or supporting further attacks.”
Soleimani “was the chief architect of Iran’s regional policy, and more importantly, the personal connective tissue between terrorists abroad and Tehran,” said Behnam Ben Taleblu, an expert on Iran and a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
The report which was issued by the National Counter Terrorism Center comes just days after Joe Biden’s announcement of his Middle Eastern tour.
On Wednesday, the bumbling president visited Israel, partly to discuss Iran’s troubling nuclear desires.
According to government officials, a threat of a revenge attack is still very high:
“The Iranian regime is waging a multipronged campaign — including threats of lethal action, international legal maneuvering, and the issuance of Iranian arrest warrants and sanctions — against select US officials to avenge the death of IRGC-QF Commander Soleimani in January 2020, raising the threat at home and abroad for those Iran views as responsible for the killing,” states the report.
The report, which was marked classified and released just two days after the White House announced Biden’s tour of the Middle East, went on to list former President Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as “priority targets”:
“Since January 2021, Tehran has publicly expressed a willingness to conduct lethal operations inside the United States and has consistently identified former President Donald Trump, former Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, and former CENTCOM Commander General Kenneth McKenzie as among its priority targets for retribution,” it reads.
“Iran would probably view the killing or prosecution of a US official it considers equivalent in rank and stature to Soleimani or responsible for his death as successful retaliatory actions.”
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is considering the reviewing the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action which Obama set up but was later removed under Trump. The deal eases sanctions on the country in exchange for it steering clear of nuclear weapons.
The NSC says this is the best way to restrict the unstable nation’s access to nuclear weapons, and Biden said Trump had made a “gigantic mistake” in withdrawing the US from the deal.
But Iran has continued to push its nuclear agenda, leaving the Biden administration clutching at straws as the President attempts to ease tension in the region.