CIA Director Mike Pompeo said on Saturday that he personally sent a letter to Iran’s Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, warning him that the US would hold Tehran accountable for any attack against American interests in Iraq by “forces under his control.” However, Soleimani refused to read the letter.

Qassem Soleimani

Qassem Soleimani Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

In a letter he sent to Iran’s Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, CIA Director Mike Pompeo expressed his concerns about Tehran’s growing intervention in Iraq. Pompeo spoke about the letter, which was also sent to other senior Iranian figures, on Saturday at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum in California.

“I sent a note. I sent it because he had indicated that forces under his control might in fact threaten US interests in Iraq,” Pompeo said. “He refused to open the letter — didn’t break my heart to be honest with you.”

“What we were communicating to him in that letter was that we will hold he and Iran accountable,” he added. “We wanted to make sure that he and the leadership of Iran understood that in a way that was crystal clear.”

According to Iranian media outlets, a senior aide to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that a CIA official tried to send a letter to Soleimani in November. The source added that Soleimani refused to receive the letter.