Pompeo: Soleimani assassination, sale of F-35 jets to UAE deeply linked to Abraham Accords

June 11, 2021 - 19:4

TEHRAN - Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has claimed the U.S. assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror commander, General Qassem Soleimani, and the deal for the sale of U.S. F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates were deeply connected with the so-called Abraham Accords.

Several Arab countries, including the UAE and Bahrain, normalized relations with Israel under U.S.-brokered agreements last year while Donald Trump was in office.

Almost five months after the Trump administration’s tenure came to an end, Pompeo says there was a series of actions that allowed the accords to advance and eventually be signed, including the deal to sell F-35 fighter jets to the UAE.

“Beyond the technology of the jet, beyond the capabilities it gives the Emiratis, the very sale says that Israelis and Americans believe that the Emirates can share their perception of security. And that is very, very important,” the former hawkish U.S. secretary of state told the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth in an interview set to be published in full on Friday.

Back in November, the U.S. State Department notified Congress of the massive arms deal with the UAE, less than two months after the Emiratis signed the normalization deal with Israel.

In early 2020, Trump ordered airstrikes that assassinated General Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), near Baghdad airport.

In response, the IRGC launched ballistic missiles at the Ain al-Assad base. Over 100 U.S. troops were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries in the aftermath of the attack.

Iran’s retaliation against the terrorist attack was the first attack on the U.S. since the end of the Second World War. 

Fearing more retaliation, U.S. officials, including Defense Minister Mark Esper, were visiting West Asia secretly, according to American media outlets. 

Pompeo, a former CIA chief, went on to say that the assassination of General Soleimani proved to the world that the United States is determined in its battle against Iran.

Analysts says Pompeo had a personal enmity with General Soleimani, the legendary anti-terror commander. In fact, General Soleimani was a bone in Pompeo’s throat.

The huge funeral procession for the martyred General Soleimani was a shock to the Trump administration. Hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq, including then Iraq’s prime minister, participated in the funeral procession for the general and al-Muhandis. 

The huge turnout in the funeral procession for General Soleimani was marked as the greatest since the death of Imam Khomeini in June 1989.  Soleimani’s battle against savagery of Daesh has made him win the hearts and minds of Iranians with different political persuasions.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani described the assassination as “an act of revenge” by the U.S. and Israel against the Islamic Republic and other independent nations that foiled the pair’s sinister plots to destabilize the region.