Iran Abandons Nuclear Deal as Killing of Iranian General Upends Mideast
The ramifications of the American assassination of a top Iranian general rippled across the Middle East and beyond on Sunday with Iran ending commitments it made to limit its nuclear program, Iraqi lawmakers voting to expel American forces and the international campaign against the Islamic State suspending operations. President Trump has said the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani on Friday was aimed at preventing war. But so far, it has unleashed a host of unintended consequences that could dramatically alter where the United States operates and Iran’s ability to develop advanced weapons.
Iranians shout slogans against the government after a vigil held for the victims of the airplane of Ukrainian International Airlines that crashed near Imam Khomeini Airport turned into an anti-government protest outside Amirkabir University in Tehran, Iran on Jan. 11.
Protesters chant slogans during an anti-U.S. rally, in Athens, on Jan. 11. Hundreds marched to the U.S. embassy in the Greek capital opposing any military or other intervention from the U.S. against Iran. The banner reads " Americans imperialists, Arsonists of War, Stay away from our country and the region'.
Iranians protest against the government after a vigil held for the victims of the airplane of Ukrainian International Airlines that crashed near Imam Khomeini Airport turned into an anti-government protest outside Amirkabir University in Tehran, Iran on Jan. 11.
Iranians shout slogans against the government after a vigil held for the victims of the airplane of Ukrainian International Airlines that crashed near Imam Khomeini Airport turned into an anti-government protest outside Amirkabir University in Tehran, Iran on January 11, 2020.
Iranian Americans hold a moment of silence for Iranian victims at their "2020 LA Convention for Free Iran," in Los Angeles, California on Jan. 11. Members of the Iranian opposition are calling on the U.S. to recognize Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (R3), Qasem Soleimani's long-time lieutenant and the new leader of Quds Force Gen. Esmail Qaani (R2) attend a memorial for Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Forces, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq, in Tehran, Iran, on Jan. 9.
Qasem Soleimani's long-time lieutenant and the new leader of Quds Force Gen. Esmail Qaani (L2), Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Hossein Salami (R3), son of Qasem Soleimani, Mphammed Reza Soleimani (R2) attend a memorial for Qasem Soleimani on Jan. 9, in Tehran, Iran.
A Chinese investor reads a newspaper as she monitors stock prices at a brokerage house on Jan. 10 in Beijing. Asian shares rose Friday as worries receded that the United States and Iran might be stepping closer to the edge of war, and U.S. indexes hit records.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., speaks during a rally outside the U.S. Capitol, during a House vote to measure limiting President Donald Trump's ability to take military action against Iran, on Capitol Hill, on Jan. 9, in Washington DC.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., walks to meet with reporters following escalation of tensions this week between the U.S. and Iran, on Jan. 9 on Capitol Hill in Washington. The House approved a non-binding resolution aimed at limiting Trump's military action against Iran.
Members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council participate in a meeting titled "Maintenance of International Peace and Security" on Jan. 9 in New York City. Representatives from over 50 nations voiced their concerns about ongoing conflicts in the world including recent tensions between Iran and America.
Kuwaiti MP Safaa al-Hashem gestures during a parliament session at Kuwait's national assembly on Jan. 9 in Kuwait City. Kuwait denied reports that the United States had decided to withdraw its troops from the Gulf state, saying the Twitter account of its official news agency had been hacked.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, center, walks towards the Senate after briefing members of Congress on last week's targeted killing of Iran's senior military commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani, on Jan. 8 on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Congressional Progressive Caucus members Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., center right, accompanied by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and other members of the Caucus, speaks during a news conference on last week's targeted killing of Iran's senior military commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Jan. 8, 2020.
This satellite image provided on Wednesday, Jan. 8, by Middlebury Institute of International Studies and Planet Labs Inc. shows the damage caused from an Iranian missile strike at the Ain al-Asad air base in Iraq.
President Donald Trump addresses the nation from the White House on the ballistic missile strike that Iran launched against Iraqi air bases housing U.S. troops, on Jan. 8, in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence and others looks on.
President Donald Trump arrives to deliver remarks on Iran, at his Mar-a-Lago property, on Jan. 3 in Palm Beach, Fla.
Iran Fires on U.S. Forces at 2 Bases in Iraq, Saying ‘Fierce Revenge’ Has Begun
Iran attacked two bases in Iraq that house American troops with a barrage of missiles early Wednesday, Iranian official news media and United States officials said, the start of what Tehran had promised would be retaliation for the killing of a top Iranian commander. “The fierce revenge by the Revolutionary Guards has begun,” the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said in a statement on a Telegram messaging app channel.American officials in Washington said that Iran had fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq where American troops are stationed.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., arrives to meet with other House Democrats on the morning following Iranian attacks on bases in Iraq housing U.S. troops, at the Capitol in Washington, on Jan. 8.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addresses participants during a meeting in Tehran, on Jan. 8. Khamenei said on Wednesday said that his country's attack was "a slap in the face of the U.S.," and said the military action is still "not enough."
An explosion is seen following missiles landing at what is believed to be Ain al-Asad Air Base in Iraq, in this still image taken from a video shot on Jan. 8.
'This was an act of war': Lawmakers react to Iran's missile strike on US military bases
Lawmakers quickly reacted after Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at U.S. troops and coalition forces in Iraq on Tuesday. Pelosi told members to "pray."WASHINGTON — Lawmakers quickly reacted after Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at U.S. troops and coalition forces in Iraq on Tuesday, an apparent retaliation for a U.S. drone strike days earlier that killed one of Tehran's most powerful generals, Qasem Soleimani.
(File photo) This aerial photo taken from a helicopter shows Ain al-Asad air base in the western Anbar desert, Iraq, on Dec. 29, 2019. An Iraqi general said that security has been beefed up around the Ain al-Asad air base, a sprawling complex that hosts U.S. forces, following a series of attacks.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., arrives at the Capitol on Jan. 7 in Washington, as Democrats prepared largely symbolic resolutions under the War Powers Act to limit the president's military actions regarding Iran.
Iranian lawmakers chant slogans as some of them hold posters of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in Iraq in a U.S. drone attack, in an open session of parliament, on Jan. 7 in Tehran, Iran. Iran's parliament has passed an urgent bill declaring the U.S. military's command at the Pentagon in Washington and those acting on its behalf "terrorists", subject to Iranian sanctions.
A U.S. Capitol Police officer and K-9 do a security sweep on Jan. 6, as Congress returns to to Washington to face the challenge of fallout from President Donald Trump's military strike in Iraq that killed Iranian official, Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
U.S Army paratroopers assigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division prepare to board an aircraft bound for the U.S. Central Command area of operations from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on Jan. 4.
Equipment for U.S Army paratroopers assigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division is loaded onto an aircraft bound for the U.S. Central Command area of operations from Fort Bragg, North Carolina on Jan. 4.
Iranian people attend a funeral procession and burial for Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, who was killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, at his hometown in Kerman, Iran on Jan. 7.
Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway responds to questions from members of the news media regarding the death of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Lieutenant general and commander of the Quds Force Qassem Soleimani and US relations with Iran in the White House, in Washington, DC, on Jan. 6.
Slideshow by Photo Services
Iran's strikes seem intended to avoid US deaths. Here's why that might be the case
Iran's missile strikes against bases in Iraq housing American troops early Wednesday were not an act designed to kill the most Americans possible. There are a number of reasons why that might be the case.It is perhaps the most brazen attack Iran has launched against the United States in four decades of simmering covert and overt conflict.
Scores of protesters gathered for a second day in Iran on Sunday chanting slogans against the authorities following the military's admission it had shot down a passenger plane in error after days denying it was to blame, social media posts showed.
The posts on Twitter could not immediately be verified by Reuters. But state-affiliated media had reported protests on Saturday night shortly after the Iranian military said it had brought down the Ukrainian plane on Wednesday and apologized.
"They are lying that our enemy is America, our enemy is right here," protesters who had gathered in the street outside a university in Tehran chanted. They also gathered in other cities.
DUBAI, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Iranian protesters and newspapers piled pressure on the country's leadership and riot police stepped up their presence in Tehran on Sunday after Iran's military admitted that it had mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian airliner.
Riot police fired teargas at thousands of Iranians who had taken to the streets late on Saturday in the capital and other cities, many chanting "Death to the dictator", directing their anger at Iran's top authority, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Its Missiles Did Little Damage, but Iran Has More Potent Weapons
American military and intelligence officials were stunned at the precision, scale and sheer boldness of what they later concluded was an Iranian attack. Four months ago, a swarm of low-flying armed drones and cruise missiles struck oil tanks in the central hub of the Saudi petroleum industry, catching Washington by surprise and temporarily knocking out 5 percent of the world’s oil supply. Almost no country in the region — Israel may be the exception — could have defended against it.
Reports of the protests were carried by state-affiliated news agencies, while video clips circulated on social media.
Tehran residents told Reuters that police had stepped up their presence in the capital on Sunday morning.
"Apologize and resign," Iran's moderate Etemad daily wrote in a banner headline on Sunday, saying the "people's demand" was for those responsible for mishandling the plane crisis to quit.
All 176 people aboard the flight, many of them Iranians with dual citizenship, were killed.
Protests erupted after Saturday's admission that the military accidentally shot down the Ukraine International Airlines plane minutes after take off on Wednesday, when Iranian forces were alert for U.S. reprisals after tit-for-tat strikes.
For days, Iranian officials had vigorously denied it was to blame, even as Canada, which had 57 citizens on the flight, and the United States said their intelligence indicated an Iranian missile was to blame, albeit probably fired in error.
Iran's president said it was a "disastrous mistake" and apologized. But a top Revolutionary Guards commander added to public anger about the delayed admission, when he said he had told the authorities a missile hit the plane the day it crashed.
'The world is watching': Trump tweets in support of Iran protests
"We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage," President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Saturday."The government of Iran must allow human rights groups to monitor and report facts from the ground on the ongoing protests by the Iranian people," Trump tweeted in English and Farsi. "There can not be another massacre of peaceful protesters, nor an internet shutdown. The world is watching.
Another moderate daily Jomhuri-ye Eslami, or Islamic Republic, wrote in an editorial: "Those who delayed publishing the reason behind the plane crash and damaged people's trust in the establishment should be dismissed or should resign."
Criticism of the authorities in Iran is not unusual, but it tends to stay in narrow boundaries.
The press attacks and protests add to challenges facing the establishment, which in November faced the country's bloodiest unrest since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
As Saturday's protests spread across Iran, including major cities such as Shiraz, Isfahan, Hamedan and Orumiyeh, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter: "We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage."
"There can not be another massacre of peaceful protesters, nor an internet shutdown. The world is watching," he said, posting his tweets in both Farsi and English.
Britain said its ambassador in Iran had been briefly detained on Saturday by the authorities in Tehran. A news agency said he was detained outside a university for inciting protests.
Condemning the arrest, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Iran "can continue its march towards pariah status ... or take steps to de-escalate tensions and engage in a diplomatic path forwards."
Protests inside Iran followed a build up of tension between Iran and the United States, which withdrew from Tehran's nuclear pact with world powers in 2018 and then re-imposed sanctions that have steadily crippled the Iranian economy.
Iran’s Grim Economy Limits Its Willingness to Confront the U.S.
Iran is caught in a wretched economic crisis. Jobs are scarce. Prices for food and other necessities are skyrocketing. The economy is rapidly shrinking. Iranians are increasingly disgusted. Crippling sanctions imposed by the Trump administration have severed Iran’s access to international markets, decimating the economy, which is now contracting at an alarming 9.5 percent annual rate, the International Monetary Fund estimated. Oil exports were effectively zero in December, according to Oxford Economics, as the sanctions have prevented sales, even though smugglers have transported unknown volumes.
On Jan. 3, a U.S. drone strike in Iraq killed prominent Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, responsible for building up Iran's network of regional proxy armies in Iraq and beyond, and Tehran responded with missile strikes on U.S. targets in Iraq.
No U.S. soldiers were killed, but in the tense hours after that, the Ukrainian Boeing 737 was cleared to take off from Tehran airport and then brought down by a missile fired in error by an operator who mistook the plane for an attacker.
"Shooting down a civilian aircraft is horrific. Iran must take full responsibility," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.
Trudeau said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had committed to collaborating with Canadian investigators, working to de-escalate tensions in the region and continuing a dialogue.
Rallying to the establishment, Iranian lawmakers praised the elite force's commanders for courage in admitting the error, according to Fars, a news agency seen as close to the Guards, a parallel military set up to protect the theocratic system.
Iranian officials sought to portray the plane disaster as a second blow to a mourning nation after Soleimani's death in a U.S. drone strike.
Soleimani's funeral had prompted huge public gatherings, which the authorities described a show of national unity. But the displays of emotion have been swiftly overshadowed and protesters on Saturday tore up pictures of the slain general.
Public fury at Iran's authorities had grown as questions about the plane crash mounted. Iranians on social media asked why officials were busy fending off criticism from abroad rather than sympathizing with grieving families. Others asked why the plane was allowed to take off at a time of high tension.
(Reporting by Parisa Hafezi in Dubai; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)
Iran’s President Lashes Out at Europeans Over Crumbling Nuclear Deal .
Under growing pressure at home and abroad, Iranian leaders attempted on Wednesday to calm domestic anger over the downing of a passenger jet last week, while lashing out at European nations that have formally accused Iran of breaking the 2015 agreement to curb its nuclear program. In Tehran, President Hassan Rouhani criticized — and appeared to threaten — Britain, France and Germany for officially accusing Iran on Tuesday of reneging on its commitments under the nuclear deal, a step that further isolates Iran internationally and that could lead to renewed United Nations sanctions.
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