The Biden administration has again extended government protection to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and one of his top Iran aides due to persistent threats against them from Iran, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, in separate notices sent to Congress late last week, the State Department said the threats to Pompeo and Brian Hook remained “serious and credible.” Hook served as the Trump administration’s special envoy for Iran.
Along with Pompeo, Hook was the public face of the US “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran following President Donald Trump’s 2018 decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. Iran also blamed both men for the US assassination of Iran Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad in January 2020 and vowed revenge.
AP noted that the January 5 notifications to Congress marked the 10th time the State Department has extended protection to Hook since he left office in January 2021 and the seventh time it has been extended to Pompeo.
The notifications do not specifically identify Iran as the source of the threats, but Iranian officials have long vented anger at Pompeo and Hook for leading the Trump administration’s policy against Iran, including designating the Revolutionary Guard Corps a “foreign terrorist organization,” subjecting it to unprecedented sanctions and orchestrating the Soleimani assassination.
In November, the State Department notified Congress that both Pompeo and Hook were still both subject to a “serious and credible threat from a foreign power or agent of a foreign power” stemming from their work while in government.
At the time, the US Justice Department announced that Shahram Poursafi, an alleged member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, is wanted by the FBI in connection with the plot.
Iran has repeatedly vowed to avenge the death of Soleimani. Last year, an animated video published on the website of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei depicted the assassination of former US President Donald Trump, who ordered the air strike that eliminated Soleimani.