US Slaps New Sanctions on Iran after Missile Strikes

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Trump issued an executive order adding additional U.S. sanctions to an already long list his administration had imposed.

Following Iran's decision to take the fifth and final step in reducing commitment under the nuclear deal, a German Foreign Ministry spokesman had said on Monday that Germany's goal remains to save the agreement.

The president, in a statement announcing the new measures, referenced Iran's nuclear program and use of proxy forces throughout the region while noting that the Iranians have threatened United States service members, diplomats and civilians - an apparent reference to his administration's justification for killing General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike last week in Baghdad.

"The United States will continue to counter the Iranian regime's destructive and destabilizing behavior".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo conceded in an interview that aired just hours after Trump wrapped up in Toledo that the best USA intelligence on Soleimani was less specific than what the president suggested. Members of Congress said officials did not provide sufficient detail or justification in briefings this week.

While the Iranian airstrikes did not kill any USA personnel, Pompeo said he believed it possible that the crash of a Ukrainian Airlines flight outside of Tehran on Wednesday that killed 176 civilians could have been caused by an Iranian missile launch. I don't know. But we didn't hear it in the classified intelligence briefing, ' the senator said. "Qasem Soleimani himself was plotting a broad, large-scale attack against American interests and those attacks were imminent". "Period. Full stop", Pompeo said.

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Later on Thursday, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib said she supports the resolution on behalf of her Detroit-based district, stressing that her constituents deserve a say in whether or not the country goes to war.

The latest escalation was set off when a rocket attack blamed on the Iranian-backed militia group Kataeb Hezbollah, or Hezbollah Brigades, caused the death of an American contractor at a base in Kirkuk province.

The new head of Iran's Quds Force Esmail Ghaani said that Tehran would continue the course pursued by slain general Qassem Soleimani.

Tehran agreed to roll back parts of its nuclear weapons program in exchange for decreased economic sanctions.

Iran has been a target of American sanctions for more than 40 years, but Mnuchin shrugged off the suggestion they have in fact fostered unrest, such as the embassy protest in Baghdad and the killing of a US contractor - two events widely seen as sparking the latest tensions.

"I don't have to", Trump said when asked whether he would seek congressional approval for more military action against Iran.

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