(PresidentialHill.com)- A new intelligence analysis warns that Iran may try to target former U.S. officials in vengeance for the drone assassination that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani two years ago.
The National Counter Terrorism Center delivered its June 16 intelligence assessment two days before President Biden’s Middle East travel.
Iran has targeted former President Donald Trump, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and other officials as ‘priority targets’ for ordering the January 2020 US drone strike that killed Soleimani in Iraq.
Iran has long threatened to avenge Soleimani’s killing, but the new story confirms that US authorities are taking the warnings seriously. The unclassified intelligence report was widely circulated to government and law enforcement agencies.
Since January 2021, Tehran has openly declared a readiness to execute lethal operations within the U.S. and has designated former President Donald Trump, former Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, and former CENTCOM Commander General Kenneth McKenzie as retaliation targets, the study adds.
‘Iran would undoubtedly perceive the assassination or prosecution of a US officer it views equal to Soleimani or responsible for his murder as effective retaliation acts,’ according to the study.
Iran is ‘waging a multipronged campaign’ to revenge Soleimani’s killing, including ‘threats of fatal action, international legal maneuvering, and Iranian arrest warrants and penalties,’ the report continued.
The assessment outlines thwarted plans to murder US leaders, legal maneuvering, and threats against individual officials.
Iran has vowed ‘hard retaliation’ and made other threats against Trump and other leaders. Ayatollah Khamenei tweeted an animated film in January that purported to portray a robot ordering a drone strike on Trump at Mar-a-Lago.
The ‘Revenge is Inevitable’ video was part of a contest to honor Soleimani’s death anniversary.
Biden landed in Jerusalem on Wednesday and reassured Israeli officials of his intention to stop Iran’s nuclear program, saying he’d use force as a ‘last resort.’ Biden stated an Iran with nuclear weapons would be worse than the current regime.
Biden considered renewing the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, which Trump abandoned in 2018, a top goal.
Biden called Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal a “gigantic blunder.”
Biden said some feared the past administration walked away from the Middle East, creating a vacuum that China or Russia would fill.
Indirect discussions to re-enter the pact have faltered as Iran’s nuclear program has advanced.
The Biden administration is skeptical about reviving the deal, which limited Iran’s nuclear development in exchange for sanctions relief.