General Esmail Ghaani has vowed revenge for the killing of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani.
President Trump claimed that the U.S. airstrike that killed Soleimani was not intended to start a war.
Iran seems certain to respond, potentially further destabilizing the world’s most volatile region. Soleimani’s daughter said during an address on state TV that his death would bring a “dark day” for the U.S.
Iran’s new top commander Esmail Ghaani, who replaced Gen. Soleimani, has pledged to avenge the general’s killing. Iran said it would no longer abide by limits on its uranium enrichment, and Iraq’s parliament voted to call on the Iraqi government to expel U.S. troops from the country.
The drone strike that killed Soleimani is the most direct confrontation from the U.S. since the Trump administration withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Per AP news reports, the latest developments could bring Tehran nearer to creating an atomic bomb, see a proxy or military attack on the U.S. from Iran, and enable an Islamic State resurgence in Iraq, making the region more dangerous.
President Trump has been criticized for the strike by some world leaders and Congress members, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said she’ll introduce a vote this week on a War Powers Resolution in an attempt to limit his action on Iran.
Trump doubled down Sunday, January 5, 2020 on his threat to target 52 Iranian sites and threatened to hit Iraq with sanctions over the parliamentary vote.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who formally resigned a month ago, said the attack will lead to a “dangerous escalation,” NPR reports.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron issued a joint statement, calling for “all parties to “exercise restraint.”
Russia condemned the attack and blasted the Trump administration for refusing to use official channels, such as the UN Security Council following protests at American embassies in Iraq, per NPR.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supported the U.S. and said, “Qassim Soleimani is responsible for the deaths of many American citizens and many other innocent people,” the BBC reports.
China appealed for restraint on all sides, but added, “The dangerous [U.S.] military operation violates the basic norms of international relations and will aggravate regional tensions and turbulence,” per Al Jazeera.