Pompeo shifts rationale for Soleimani killing from ‘imminent’ threat to deterrence strategy

US House passes measure to limit Trump's ability to wage war on Iran

U.S. House votes to rein in Trump's war powers as U.S.-Iran tensions stay high

The White House also said Iran-backed militias stormed the US embassy over New Years Day in Baghdad as a retaliation. On Thursday, in an interview with Fox News, Mike Pompeo admitted that he didn't know precisely when and where Iran was planning its "imminent attacks".

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Iran's action was in response to the US killing of its top military leader, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, in a drone strike.

US President Donald Trump reportedly authorised the killing of Iran's top general Qassem Soleimani seven months before he was hit in Iraq.

Trump added a new fuel to the controversy on Monday, saying "it really doesn't matter" if Suleimani poses an imminent threat.

Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, wrote in a tweet last week that "if there was evidence of imminent attacks on four embassies, the Administration would have said so at our Wednesday briefing".

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"So, if the occupant does not respect the Iraqis' approval, they [the Iraqis] will fight them", he told the Tasnim news agency in an interview published by Sunday.

"Frankly in the classified briefing that lasted 75 minutes and had virtually the entire Senate there, we got less detailed information than President Trump shared with Laura Ingraham", Coons told host Chris Wallace.

But Trump and others have faced persistent questions about their allegations of an "imminent" threat.

"President Trump and those of us in his national security team are re-establishing deterrents - real deterrents - against the Islamic Republic", Pompeo said in a speech at Stanford's Hoover Institute on Monday (full transcript available here). So for all intents and purposes, I think most leaders at DOD believe that the vetting was sufficient. "Why not?" said Wallace.

"What the President said with regard to the four embassies is what I believe as well".

"The latest unsafe aggressive acts, which are repeated violations of Iraqi sovereignty, are a part of the deteriorating situation" in the region, he said. Although no American lives were lost, it was a clear signal to US President Donald Trump that US interests in the Middle East were not safer, but in fact were in greater danger, due to the US leader's reckless and irresponsible actions.

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Pompeo and Trump said that American embassies were threatened.

Satellite images show the amount of destruction at the base, which was not equipped to handle the barrage of ballistic missiles that hit it one by one in the very early hours of January 7th.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has also hinted at more to come and Iran's ambassador to the United Nations today dismissed Trump's calls for co-operation, in a sign that the crisis is not yet over.

It was not a step at that time seen as only being available if imminent threats presented themselves from Iran.

But the U.S. president turned up the pressure on United States allies, including the UK, demanding they abandon what he called a "defective" nuclear agreement with Iran and calling on Tehran to unilaterally cease uranium enrichment that could lead to an atomic weapon.

Previous administrations have sought to keep some distance between Washington and demonstrators opposed to Iran's Islamic leadership.

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