US Slaps New Sanctions on Iran after Missile Strikes


The aim is to force Iran to accept a new agreement that would curb its nuclear program and halt support for militant groups throughout the Middle East.

In the wake of the killing of the Iranian top military officer, Iran attacked U.S. forces at the Ayn Al-Asad Air Base and a facility in Erbil in Iraq with 15 ballistic missiles.

Iran struck the deal in 2015 with the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia and China.

The mostly symbolic but politically charged vote, 224 to 194, was largely along party lines, with three members of Trump's Republican Party joining Democrats in approving the measure demanding the president not engage in military action against Iran unless authorized by Congress.

During Friday's briefing, Pompeo was asked how his claim that the threat was "imminent" squared with prior comments he made indicating that he did not know when the attacks allegedly being planned by Soleimani would take place.

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"I don't know exactly which minute", Pompeo said.

The resolution follows a classified congressional briefing on Wednesday in which intelligence officials presented evidence to legislators that Soleimani was killed to thwart imminent attacks the Iranian general was plotting against Americans.

Both Pompeo and Trump had said USA embassies were threatened.

He said the United States had "specific information" on threatened attacks against American facilities, "including American embassies, [and] military bases throughout the region".

Tehran also responded with a missile attack on a U.S. military base in Iraq that caused damage but no casualties.

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It comes amid heightened tensions over the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani by the U.S. in Baghdad. Iran has declared that it will no longer abide by any of the restrictions imposed by the 2015 nuclear deal.

The Trump administration is imposing a new round of sanctions against Iran.

Pelosi will hold her weekly press conference later this morning, which could provide some clues on when the Senate might be able to hold a trial on whether to remove Donald Trump from office. The Iranian attack came days after a top Iranian commander was killed in a USA air strike in Iraq. No one was injured.

Iran will never have a nuclear weapon, US President Donald Trump said on Thursday adding that Tehran was getting "hurt very badly" by US sanctions.

Pompeo made a point of contrasting President Donald Trump's approach with that of the Obama administration, which he accused of opening up "revenue streams for Iran" - a reference to the previous government's easing of sanctions as part of the worldwide 2014 deal aimed at curbing the country's nuclear ambitions.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the new sanctions will target eight senior Iranian officials involved in "destabilizing" activities in the Middle East as well as Tuesday's missile strike, which came in retaliation for the U.S. killing of a senior Iranian general in a drone strike. "We are going to let the investigation play out before we make a final determination", he said.

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But other measures could have a significant effect on strategically important sectors of the Iranian economy.