He told reporters at the State Department: “Iran is the source of the current threat to the Americans in Iraq… Our intelligence is strong in this regard, we can see the hand of Ayatollah and his followers supporting these attacks on the United States.”
The attacks that Pompeo referred to were the rocket attacks on the US Consulate in Basra and the US Embassy in Baghdad by Iranian-backed forces in September. This has led the US to withdraw diplomats from Basra as of the end of September and only provide services from the Embassy.
In a related message, Pompeo again stressed that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism, using its money to “finance terrorism and militias in Iraq and the Middle East… [and continue] its malicious activity in the region.”
He went on to say that he hoped that “the Iraqi government is not subject to Iranian dictates”, as Iran has worked to control the Iraqi government, and reiterated that the US will always stand “side by side with the Iraqi people”, who notably have been protesting Iranian interference in their country recently.
Pompeo then explained that a ruling from the International Court of Justice that US sanctions on Iran would stay in place, with the exception of sanctions on humanitarian aid, food, and civilian aeroplane parts, was a “defeat for Iran”.
He said that the US had already made exceptions for humanitarian aid and that the ruling “categorically rejected all unfounded demands by Iran” to lift US sanctions. He then accused Iran of exploiting the court for political purposes.
In response to the Iranian attempt, Pompeo has announced that the US will terminate a 1955 treaty with Iran that addressed the practicalities of relations between the two countries. While diplomatic relations have already ended, meaning that there is no actual effect of withdrawing from this treaty, it will stop Iran from accusing the US of breaking the treaty when it put sanctions on the Regime.
Pompeo said: “I’m announcing that the US is terminating the 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran. This is a decision, frankly, that is 39 years overdue.”
While national security adviser John Bolton said that the US would pull out of an amendment to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations that Iran or others could use to sue the US at The Hague.