Iran's judiciary calls to file lawsuit against ex-US envoy Brian Hook
An Iranian deputy judiciary chief called on the Islamic Republic's prosecutor to file a lawsuit against the now former US special representative of Iran Brian Hook for allegedly threatening Iranian military officials with assassination, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported Monday.
“The prosecutor is required to issue an indictment against Brian Hook because he was the sponsor of the plan to exert maximum pressure against Iran, prevent. Iran’s access to its financial resources, impose secondary sanctions and resort to force against Iran," Iran's deputy judiciary chief for international affairs Ali Baqeri told judiciary chief Ebrahim Rayeesi.
"He had also threatened [commander of the IRGC Quds Force] Brig.-Gen. [Esmayeel] Qa’ani of assassination.”
Baqeri added that Iran has already started collecting various documents and other forms evidence to use against the former US Iran czar. He sarcastically remarked that the legal proceedings will keep Hook busy, so he won't need to worry about being unemployed.
Brian Hook announced on August 6 that he was stepping down from his post. The State Department announced that Eliott Abrams, the US special envoy to Venezuela, will take up Hook's post in addition to his own, following a transitional period with Hook.
According to the Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, though, Hook's departure from the State Department was due to Tehran's "active resistance" against the Trump administration's maximum pressure campaign.
Taking to social media, Shamkhani claimed that Hook, like President Donald Trump's former national security advisor John Bolton, is leaving his post without any success, and added that "After Hook, [Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo may also be forced to pack and leave before Donald Trump's departure."
The comparison between Hook and Bolton is reflected of comments made by Iran's Press TV, which quoted The New York Times in noting that Hook is leaving without having accomplished is goal.
These defiant statements against the US pressure campaign were reflected by comments made by other Iranian officials, who regarded Hook's departure as inconsequential.
"No difference between John Bolton, Brian Hook or Elliott Abrams; when it comes to the US #Iran policy, American officials have been bitten off more than they could chew," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi tweeted. "Same applies to Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump AND their successors."
Hook's departure “does not concern us and is not something we consider as a game-changer," tweeted Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman for the Iranian mission to the United Nations, according to Fars, adding that “The so-called ‘maximum pressure’ campaign waged by the US government has failed.”
Despite these statements, others see Iran's defiance as positive spin, and claim that Tehran is actually carefully watching the changes made by Abrams's appointment, as he is a known hardliner. Others point to his experience in Venezuela means he is aware of how Iran has been supporting the regime in Caracas amid the crisis ravaging the South American nation.
As of yet though, it remains unclear how the new Iran czar will approach US policy towards Tehran.