Commander of Iran’s Quds Force Qassem Soleimani is a terrorist like ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, US State Secretary Mike Popmeo declared following the US decision to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terrorist organization.
The statement was made during Pompeo’s interview With Bret Baier of Fox News on April 8.
“QUESTION: The head of the IRGC, this man Qasem Soleimani, is by all accounts a bad character and has led all kinds of attacks. But are you saying that he now is equated to, let’s say, the head of ISIS, al-Baghdadi, in U.S. policy perspective?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah. He is a terrorist.
QUESTION: So we as a country have a policy to target him or capture him?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Qasem Soleimani has the blood of Americans on his hands, Bret, as does the force that he leads, and America is determined. Each time we find an organization, institution, or an individual that has taken the lives of Americans, it is our responsibility – it’s indeed President Trump’s duty, and we have made tremendous progress in this administration’s first two years – to reduce the risk that any American will be killed by Qasem Soleimani and his merry band of brothers ever again.”
An interesting fact that besides the comparison of Soleimani and al-Baghdadi, Popmeo did not bother himself to note an obvious factual mistake made by the interviewer. Soleimani is not the head of the IRGC. The IRGC is headed by Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari. Maj. Gen. Soleimani is the head of the IRGC’s Quds Force, a special unit designed to carry out unconventional warfare and intelligence activities and responsible for extraterritorial operations.
In the same interview, Pompeo denied that the move to designate the IRGC a terrorist group was linked to the Israeli election despite it came just a few days ahead of it and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly claimed that the move was made upon his request.
Pompeo’s interview is just another example of the current policy of the Trump adminsitration towards Iran and confirms that the US has consciously chosen an escalation scenario in relations with the Islamic Republic.