President Donald Trump said Iran had targeted four American embassies before the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani a week ago—the clearest details yet on the intelligence U.S. officials had gathered ahead of the airstrike in Baghdad.
“We will tell you, probably it was going to be the embassy in Baghdad,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Newss Laura Ingraham on Friday, adding, “I can reveal that I think it wouldve been four embassies.” On Thursday, he told reporters Iran was “looking to blow up” the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also told reporters on Friday at the White House that “attacks on U.S. embassies” would have likely been targeted by Iranian assets. “We dont know exactly which day it would have been executed, but it was very clear: Qassem Soleimani himself was plotting a broad, large-scale attack against American interests, and those attacks were imminent,” Pompeo later told CBS News.
Following Soleimanis death, Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at U.S. soldiers housed in Iraqi bases on Tuesday night, causing no casualties. Iranian officials said the attack was in retaliation for Soleimanis killing.
The United States said Soleimani was also responsible for the deaths of numerous American soldiers over the years, and in April 2019, his Quds Force was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the Department of State. Over the past year or so, tensions between the United States and Iran have risen following an attack on a Saudi oil facility that officials blamed on Iran, while Tehran was also accused of capturing oil tankers traveling in and around the Strait of Hormuz.
Additional sanctions were announced against Iran on Friday, said Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday.
The sanctions include 17 specific measures against Irans largest steel, iron, aluminum, and copper manufacturers as well as eight top Iranian officials involved in the missile attack. Those officials include Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Irans Supreme National Security Council; Mohammad Reza AshtianiRead More – Source