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Saturday, Feb 24, 2024

US says Iran threats to ex-officials Pompeo, Hook persist

US says Iran threats to ex-officials Pompeo, Hook persist

The Biden administration has determined that Iranian threats against former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and one of his former top aides remain credible and persist nearly two years after they left office.
The State Department notified Congress last week that both Pompeo and Brian Hook, who served as special representative for Iran during the Trump administration, 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.

The determinations — which mean Pompeo and Hook will continue to receive government protection — were signed by Deputy Secretary of State for Management Brian McKeon on Nov. 8 and sent to Congress on Nov. 9, according to the notifications obtained by The Associated Press.

“I hereby determine that the specific threat with respect to former Secretary of State Michael Pompeo persists,” McKeon wrote. He used identical language to refer to the threat against Hook.

The AP reported in March that the State Department was paying more than $2 million per month to provide 24-hour security to Pompeo and Hook. The latest determinations — the eighth for Hook and the fifth for Pompeo since they left government in January 2021 — did not give a dollar amount for the protection.

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 “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, including designating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a “foreign terrorist organization” and subjecting it to unprecedented sanctions.

In addition, some Iranian officials have accused them of green-lighting a US drone strike that killed IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad in Jan. 2020.

The State Department had no immediate comment on the notifications. Hook declined to comment and a spokesman for Pompeo did not immediately respond to an inquiry.
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