USA said to impose sanctions on Iran's leaders, metal exports


"The President never said there was specific intelligence to four different embassies", Esper told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union".

Moulton and Senator Christopher Murphy (D-CT) both heavily criticized US President Donald J. Trump and his administration for what the lawmakers argued has been a failed policy towards Iran during an Atlantic Council event on January 9. "The Department of Justice was consulted and frankly, I don't think it was a close call", he divulged. Chris Murphy, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Middle East and Counter-terrorism panel.

Since then, the administration has added additional economic measures that have created difficulties for Iran and reduced its oil revenues to historically low levels, but have failed to bring the Iranian government to the negotiating table.

Although escalating conflict between Iran and the a concern for some Iraqis, many say they are more anxious about attention turning away from ISIL.

Trump said in a speech hours later that he ordered the general killed to prevent unspecified "imminent attacks". But a driving concern was that the Trump administration feared a loss of "deterrence" with Iran, according to three senior administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations surrounding the strike and its aftermath. "Okay? And he had more than that specific message in mind", he said.

As more details emerged of the Iranian missile strike on U.S. forces in Iraq, the New York Times reported that American spy agencies picked up indications of the Iranian attack three hours before it happened, giving USA soldiers ample time to take cover.

"The Fake News Media and their Democrat Partners are working hard to determine whether or not the future attack by terrorist Soleimani was "imminent" or not, & was my team in agreement", Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.

"The answer for both is a strong YES, but it doesn't really matter due to their bad past!"

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In Washington on Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to stop President Donald Trump from further military action against Iran. But he did not specify how many embassies the USA believed were in Iran's sights.

Trump has said that the United States holds Iran responsible for the attacks on the United States as well as a threat to the USA military, diplomats and civilians - an apparent reference to the justification for the murder of Soleimani.

"The United States is safer today than we were a few weeks ago because we eliminated the world's foremost terror, Qassem Soleimani, who has the blood of hundreds of American soldiers and Marines on his hands".

When asked whether intelligence officers offered concrete evidence on that point, Esper said, "I have not seen one with regard to four embassies".

"The general responsible for these efforts, Soleimani, was clearly a legitimate military target".

Without knowledge of any alleged threats, the State Department didn't issue warnings about specific dangers to any U.S. embassy before the administration targeted Qasem Soleimani, Iran's second most powerful official, according to the sources.

In the days after the Soleimani strike, the USA -led military coalition fighting ISIS was temporarily suspended, with defense officials citing attacks on Iraqi and US bases over the last two months as the reason for the shift.

The official declined to disclose details of the USA intelligence agency. Already wary of the reckless actions of the U.S. president in the recent past, and well aware of his immature and temperamental character, many have issued statements distancing themselves from the actions of the Americans.