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Pompeo: Release of Khashoggi Report Is “Reckless, Political” Move

On Friday, US intelligence declassified a report on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which claimed that the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, approved the assassination. The publication’s findings were immediately refuted by Riyadh, which saw support from a handful of other Arab countries.

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized the Biden administration for declassifying an intelligence report on Khashoggi’s killing, calling the move “reckless” and containing a “political” motive to damage relations between Washington and Riyadh, according to a Sunday Pompeo’s interview with Fox News.

“It was aimed at harming a relationship with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the use of intelligence in a way that as a former CIA director, I would have never stood for. So I regret that they chose to do. This was a political stunt. We know a lot about what happened there, our administration held those accountable that we knew of,” Pompeo claimed, adding that he believes that the current US administration seeks to turn an “important security partner” into a “foe.” 

According to the Trump appointee, the current administration intends “to develop a relationship with Iran” at the cost of “destroying one with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia” and use US intelligence to bring about the shift. Pompeo also claimed that “Iranians […] have murdered far more people all across the world than the kingdom of Saudi Arabia has during our four years and eight years before that as well.”

Pompeo then jumped to rolling out accusations against Iran, claiming that “the Ayatollah is the place to look, Foreign Minister Zarif is the place to look, President Rouhani is the place to look” for extraterritorial killing.

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