Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his top aide while out of office are receiving millions of dollars worth of security from the State Department due to “serious and credible” threats from Iran.
The Associated Press reported that the U.S. State Department is paying more than $2 million per month to provide Pompeo and his former aide, Brian Hook, with 24-hour security.
The State Department told Congress that it cost $13.1 million to protect both men from August 2021 to February 2022.
The State Department’s recently published 2022 Annual Threat Assessment detail these expenses, according to CBS News.
Pompeo and Hook were key actors in the Trump administration’s campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran and, as such, have received intense death threats on a regular basis.
American intelligence assesses that the threats to their lives have remained constant since they left government and could intensify. Despite the Biden administration renewing negotiations with Iranian officials over the previously scrapped 2015 nuclear agreement, the threats against Pompeo and Hook have persisted.
As a former secretary of state, Pompeo was given 180 days of round-the-clock protection by the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security after leaving office. But according to a recent report, the current Secretary of State Antony Blinken opted to extend the security detail in 60-day increments due to “a serious and credible threat from a foreign power or agent of a foreign power arising from duties performed by former Secretary Pompeo while employed by the department.”
Hook — who worked closely with Pompeo to impose crippling sanctions upon Iran — was also granted this special protection by Blinken upon leaving government service.
Hook has been receiving 60-day security extensions similar to Pompeo.
The latest 60-day extension will soon expire and the State Department, along with the Director of National Intelligence, must determine by March 16 if the federal government should extend protections once more.
Current U.S. officials have said that the threats against Pompeo and Hook have been discussed in the renewed nuclear discussions.
In these discussions, Iranian diplomats are demanding the removal of all sanctions placed upon Iran by the Trump administration. This includes removing the label of “foreign terrorist organization” from the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard.
These discussions have been paused in recent weeks as the Russian diplomatic envoy mediating the discussions raised concerns over Western sanctions on Russia in response to the country’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
U.S. officials suggest that Iranian attempts to harass, intimidate, and harm American officials and journalists could continue.