08:05 GMT25 January 2020
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    US-Iran Relations Hit New Low After Killing of General Soleimani in Baghdad (144)

    On Friday, a US airstrike killed Qasem Soleimani, powerful head of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The event has provoked different reactions from American politicians.

    Warnings From Democrats

    Democratic US Senator from Connecticut Chris Murphy has questioned the “unauthorised” US airstrike near the Baghdad International Airport that killed Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, warning that the move could potentially set off a “massive regional war”.

    “The justification for the assasination is to 'deter future Iranian attacks'", Murphy continued. “One reason we don’t generally assasinate foreign political officials is the belief that such action will get more, not less, Americans killed. That should be our real, pressing and grave worry tonight”.

    “No one can claim to know with certainty what happens next”, the senator added.

    Former US Vice President and 2020 Presidential candidate Joe Biden echoed this vision by arguing that the Trump administration's move was "hugely escalatory" and Iran "will surely respond" to Soleimani's killing.

    ​Democratic members of the US House of Representatives, Eliot L. Engel and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, also issued statements strongly condemning the attack, insisting that it had been carried out without congressional authorisation and consultation.

    “American leaders’ highest priority is to protect American lives and interests. But we cannot put the lives of American servicemembers, diplomats and others further at risk by engaging in provocative and disproportionate actions”, Nancy Pelosi said in her statement. “Tonight’s airstrike risks provoking further dangerous escalation of violence. America – and the world – cannot afford to have tensions escalate to the point of no return”.

    “Tonight’s action represents a massive escalation in our conflict with Iran with unpredictable consequences”, Eliot L. Engel said, suggesting that the US may now be “on the brink of direct confrontation in the Middle East”.

    Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff also pointed out that the attack was not authorised by Congress.

    Republicans Praise Trump Administration's Actions

    On the other hand, Republican Senator from Utah Mitt Romney praised American military and intelligence services for carrying out a “successful mission” to eliminate a “depraved terrorist”.

    This was echoed by Lindsay Graham, Republican Senator from South Carolina, who also expressed his content with the airstrike.

    “I appreciate President Donald Trump’s bold action against Iranian aggression. To the Iranian government: if you want more, you will get more”, Graham said in a tweet.

    Republican Senator from Florida Marco Rubio, at the same time, described the IRGC Commander's killing as “defensive actions”, while saying that Iran’s Quds Force was to blame for choosing “the path of escalation”.

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted a video of a group of people carrying Iraqi flags on the street, suggesting that it depicted “Iraqis dancing in the street for freedom; thankful that General Soleimani is no more”.

    US President Donald Trump has not publicly commented on Soleimani’s assassination yet, but he did post a picture of an American flag on his Twitter account.

    Major General Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force, was killed by rocket fire near the Baghdad International Airport. Deputy Commander of the Popular Mobilisation Forces Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also allegedly killed by the strike while in a convoy with Soleimani, The Times of Israel reported.

    The assassination of Soleimani has been confirmed by Iranian officials, with a senior military officer inside the IRGC Mohsen Rezaee vowing a response to US actions. Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said that the “stupidity” of “American terrorist forces” will only strengthen “resistance” in the region.

    The development follows Tuesday's attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad by Iraqi protesters - an assault that, according to Washington, was orchestrated by Iran. This was preceded by US airstrikes on an Iran-backed unit of Kataib Hezbollah operating in the country.

    US-Iran Relations Hit New Low After Killing of General Soleimani in Baghdad (144)
    Mike Pompeo, Mitt Romney, Nancy Pelosi, Donald Trump, Quds Force, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Qasem Soleimani, Iraq, Iran, United States
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