WASHINGTON (Rahnuma): Confronted by persistent questions about his military action in the Middle East, President Donald Trump and his top officials offered a string of fresh explanations Friday, with Trump now contending Iranian militants had planned major attacks on four US embassies.
Just hours earlier, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said the US didn’t know when or where attacks might occur. Trump and other officials insisted anew that Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani had posed an imminent threat to the US, but they rebuffed repeated attempts to explain what they meant by “imminent.”
Trump, meanwhile, announced additional sanctions against Iran, which he had promised after a barrage of missiles fired by the Islamic State against American bases in Iraq earlier this week.
Those Iranian missiles, which caused no casualties, were prompted in turn by the US drone strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week in Baghdad. That US assault set off a chain of events that may have included the downing of a Ukrainian jetliner, possibly by an Iranian missile, and calls by the Iraqi government to expel US troops from their country.
At the White House, Trump issued an executive order adding additional US sanctions to the already long list his administration had imposed in an effort to force Iran to accept a new agreement that would curb its nuclear program and to halt support for militant groups throughout the Middle East.