Trump Describes Democratic Leaders as ‘Iran's Allies’

Marco Green
January 15, 2020

On Monday, US President Donald Trump defended his decision to assassinate high-ranking Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani; blaming the "fake news media" and their "Democratic partners" for doubting his administration's narrative over whether Soleimani's future plans to attack the US were "imminent".

The sources claimed that statements by the US Administration do not allow one to "unambiguously answer the question why the assassination of Soleimani in Iraq was necessary to avert a direct threat to the lives of American citizens". This time, Esper said that the U.S. can indeed strike Iran, "if it is consistent with the Commander in Chief's authorities under Article 2", referring to the article of the Constitution that allows the president to order military action in the event of an attack on American forces, on the condition that it later be approved by Congress.

"US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for his part, said during a speech at Stanford's Hoover Institute on Monday that Soleimani's killing was part of a "[Washington'] bigger strategy" to deter Iran and other US rivals, including Russian Federation and China.

"The answer to both is a strong YES" added Trump before insisting that "it doesn't really matter because of his frightful past!"

Attorney-General William Barr told reporters on Monday that the White House consulted his department before the strike. "That also has made America less safe", he added, noting a report from NBC News saying Mr Trump had authorised the killing of Major-General Soleimani seven months ago. "What the president said was that there probably could be additional attacks against embassies".

Last week, Mr Trump posited in an interview that Iran had been poised to attack four U.S. embassies before Maj-Gen Soleimani was killed in a USA drone strike on Jan 3.

But US lawmakers, including some Republicans and Democrats, said the administration has failed to provide evidence that an attack was imminent.

Esper told NPR on Monday that the USA is still considering retaliatory action for these proxy attacks. Trump had decided against military retaliation to those attacks, which damaged equipment but did not result in loss of life, but U.S. officials anxious that Iran might confuse its restraint with weakness.

The president has been under pressure to explain the reason for ordering the killing of Iran's most high profile general. "I shared that view", Esper said.

Soleimani had been in the crosshairs of the U.S. before - at least once in 2007 - but two administrations had rejected operations to kill him, wary of the consequences of striking down Iranian military leader. This remarkable admission was made yesterday in a tweet defending his decision to assassinate Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad almost two weeks ago.

"The importance of deterrence isn't confined to Iran".

The killing was a risky move that brought the two nations closer to war than at any point in recent memory.

Even as tensions appear to cool, the long-term effects of the strike are unclear and will likely be hard to predict, given the wide breadth and capabilities of Iran's network of proxies.

Still, US officials defend the strike as restoring a check on Iran's aggression.

"The risk of inaction is greater than risk of action".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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