Pompeo orders diplomats not to meet with Iranian opposition groups

January 8, 2020 - 19:54

TEHRAN — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has ordered all U.S. missions overseas not to meet with Iranian opposition groups without specific approval.

According to a copy of a cable sent to U.S. missions, Pompeo said meeting with Iranian opposition groups could further exacerbate tensions with the Islamic Republic.

“Many exiled Iranian opposition groups try to engage U.S. officials regularly to gain at least the appearance of tacit support and enhance their visibility and clout,” Pompeo said, CNN reported on Tuesday

He said that many of these groups “have previously or are currently using violent means in support of their political aims.”

“Direct U.S. government engagement with these groups could prove counterproductive to our policy goal of seeking a comprehensive deal with the Iranian regime that addresses its destabilizing behavior,” Pompeo wrote.

He sent the instructions early this week.

It came in the aftermath of a Trump-ordered U.S. attack at Baghdad’s airport on Friday that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Iran took revenge for the assassination in early hours of Wednesday.

In a statement, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) issued a warning to regional countries that bear U.S. bases.

IRGC pointed to the successful Shahid (Martyr) Soleimani Operation against the Ain al-Assad base with tens of surface-to-surface missiles. 

The statement warned the United States that any more aggression will receive more “painful and crushing” response.

IRGC also issued a warning to all Washington allies that house military bases to the terrorist U.S. forces. “Any land that becomes the source of aggressive and hostile measures against the Islamic Republic will be targeted.”

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also said after the attack that the United States’ “corruptive presence” in the region must come to an end.

“This region does not accept presence of the United States. The people in the region and the regional governments rising from the people do not accept this issue,” he said during a speech in Qom.

“A slap was delivered last night,” the Leader remarked.

“The issue of revenge is another issue. They were slapped last night which is another issue. Such military actions will not be enough. The United States’ corruptive presence in the region must come to an end. They have brought war, sedition, destruction, and also destruction of infrastructures to the region.”

MH/PA

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