News ID: 313796
Published: 0152 GMT June 11, 2021

Pompeo: Soleimani assassination, F-35s for UAE linked to Israel deal

Pompeo: Soleimani assassination, F-35s for UAE linked to Israel deal
REUTERS

Former American secretary of state Mike Pompeo said the US assassination of Iran’s top commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, and the deal for the sale of US F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates were linked with the so-called Abraham Accords.

Several Arab countries, including the UAE and Bahrain, normalized their relations with Israel under US-brokered agreements last year when former US president Donald Trump was in office.

Almost five months after the Trump administration’s tenure came to an end, Pompeo said 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, Press TV wrote.

“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 hawkish ex-official told the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.

Back in November, the US 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.

After assuming office in January, the administration of Joe Biden put a temporary hold on several major foreign arms sales initiated by Trump, including the deal to sell 50 F-35 advanced fighter jets to the UAE.

However, the Biden administration told Congress in April that it would move ahead with the deal.

“Also the [assassination of General] Soleimani was deeply connected to the Abraham Accords,” Pompeo stated in the interview.

Pompeo said the assassination proved to the world that the United States is determined in its battle against Iran.

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

In his interview, Pompeo strongly criticized Biden’s behavior.

“At the exact moment that his mouth was talking, he removed the terror designation from the Houthis (Yemen’s Ansarullah movement). At the exact moment he gave that speech, American officials sat in Vienna and spoke — albeit indirectly — with the Iranians” about releasing several million dollars of Iran’s frozen funds, Pompeo said.

The Biden administration has promised to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, also called the JCPOA, and repeal Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy against Tehran. However, the talks in the Austrian capital to bring the US back to compliance have not led to the fulfillment of that promise yet.

 

 

   
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