Iranians mass for funeral in hometown of general killed by US

Iranian mourners vow 'harsh revenge' at Soleimani funeral

Trump threatens Iran cultural sites: Is that a war crime?

The United States' defence secretary has contradicted President Donald Trump by saying the country's military had no plans to bomb Iranian cultural sites amid threats of retaliation from Tehran over the USA assassination of its top military commander, Qassem Soleimani.

"We have targeted 52 Iranian sites, some at a very high level and important to Iran and Iranian culture", Trump tweeted.

The state-run IRNA news agency later published a statement from the Supreme National Security Council denying Shamkhani made the comment. The White House has defended its actions but failed to provide any evidence, prompting comparisons to the claims of weapons of mass destruction that were used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

United States officials are braced for Iran to respond to the killing of its most powerful general. We watched him-we watched him continue to actively build out for what was going to be a significant attack.

The Pentagon is confirming that Iran has launched ballistic missiles at two targets hosting US military and coalition forces in Iraq. Initial videos posted online showed people lying lifeless on a road and others shouting and trying to help them. That was Gen. Soleimani's idea, and a very serious mistake on his part: the street protests began to target Iranian influence as well.

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Iraqis have expressed fear over the threat of US President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on Iraq after Baghdad passed a non-binding resolution to remove US troops from the country.

Soleimani's body has been taken through Iraqi and Iranian cities since Friday's strike, with huge crowds of mourners filling the streets. Iraq's prime minister showed up at his huge funeral procession in Baghdad Saturday, and an extraordinary session of the Iraqi parliament Sunday passed a resolution demanding the expulsion of US troops from Iraq.

Maj. Gen. Hossein Dehghan, military adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Iran won't use Iran-backed militias for the attack on America, but will directly attack U.S. "Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!" he wrote.

Tehran's first response has been to announce it will no longer respect any limits placed on its nuclear programs by the 2015 nuclear treaty, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Also Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the U.S. had declined to issue him a visa to travel to NY for upocoming meetings at the United Nations.

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The friction is rooted in the 2018 U.S. decision to withdraw from a nuclear deal signed in 2015 between Iran and world powers.

The Pentagon on Monday distanced itself from U.S. President Donald Trump's assertions that he would bomb Iranian cultural sites despite global prohibitions on such attacks. A Senate vote is expected to soon follow. "The US Defense Department should publicly reaffirm its commitment to abide by the laws of war and comply only with lawful military orders".

Iran has since May 2019 announced gradual reductions in its compliance with the deal in a move aimed at pressuring European Union countries to help it bypass crippling USA sanctions, including an oil embargo, that has deprived the country of its main source of income.

Despite its strident rhetoric, analysts say Iran will want to avoid any conventional conflict with the United States but asymmetric strikes, such as sabotage or other more limited military actions, are more likely.

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