US-Iran Tensions Updates: 'Missile strike a slap to Americans,' says Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, blames US for causing division, destruction

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US-Iran Tensions Updates: 'Missile strike a slap to Americans,' says Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, blames US for causing division, destruction
  • 14:02 (IST)

    US caused war, division, and destruction: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

    Iraninian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the "corrupt presence of the US in the region should come to an end," saying it has caused war, division, and destruction.

    He also invoked the virtues of the slain commander, General Qassem Soleimani, saying he was a "great, brave warrior" and “dear friend to us". Huge crowds in Iran have mourned Soleimani's death last week in the airstrike in Baghdad.

  • 13:33 (IST)

    Iranian missile strike a slap to Americans: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

    Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in an address to the nation said "we slapped them (Americans) on the face last night" with a missile strike “but military action is not enough.”

    He spoke hours after the strike at military bases in Iraq used by US forces. The strike was in retaliation for the US killing of Iran's top military commander in Baghdad.

  • 13:18 (IST)

    'Our armed forces are ready to respond against any adventurism': Iran's ambassador to the UK

     

    Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran's ambassador to the United Kingdom, on Wednesday affirmed that the nation's attack on Iraqi military base targeting US troops was conducted in self defence. 

    He further warned the United States against any "adventurism" or their armed forces would "forcefully" respond.

    "Iran’s People and government are fully behind their armed forces," Baeidinejad said.

  • 13:07 (IST)

    No Polish troops hurt in Iranian missile attacks, confirms defence minister

    Poland's Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak tweeted, "None of the Polish soldiers in Iraq were hurt in rocket attacks on Al Asad and Erbil bases. We are in constant contact with the commander of the Polish Military Contingent in Iraq."

  • 12:59 (IST)

    Dominic Raab condemns 'reckless and dangerous' missile strikes in Iraq

    UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab ​on Wednesday condemned the ballistic missile attack by Iran on air bases in Iraq housing coalition forces, including British personnel.

    The foreign secretary said he was "concerned by reports of casualties" and urged Iran not to repeat the "reckless and dangerous attacks".

    "We urge Iranto pursue urgent de-escalation. A war in the Middle East would only benefit Daesh and other terrorist groups," said Raab. 

  • 12:48 (IST)

    Crude oil prices rise after Iraq missile attacks

    Oil prices have risen after two bases hosting US troops in Iraq were hit by ballistic missiles. Brent crude was up by 1.4% at $69.21 per barrel in the middle of the Asian trade, easing back from earlier gains.

    So-called safe haven assets, like gold and the Japanese yen, also rose on the news.

  • 12:29 (IST)

    Gold surges over two percent after Iran strikes Iraqi military bases targeting US troops; prices at their highest since March 2013
     

    Gold prices surged more than 2 percent on Wednesday, crossing the key $1,600 mark, as investors sought cover in the safe-haven metal after Iran fired rockets at Iraqi airbase which hosts USforces.

    Spot gold climbed 1.9 percent to $1,603.21 per ounce by 0056 GMT. Prices hit their highest since March 2013 at $1,610.90 earlier in the session. US gold futures GCv1 rose 2 percent to $1,605.80.

    The jump in the price of what’s viewed by investors as a safer asset in times of political and economic uncertainty came after Iran’s missile attack on US-led forces in Iraq early on Wednesday.

    Read more here...

  • 12:25 (IST)

    Stocks, gold and oil whipsawed as Iran strikes spark fears of wider West Asian war

    Financial markets were roiled on Wednesday after Iran fired missiles at US forces in Iraq, sending Asian stocks and US Treasury yields sliding and jolting oil prices higher as investors feared a wider conflict in the Middle East.

    Iran’s missile attacks on the Ain Al-Asad airbase and another in Erbil, Iraq, early in the day came hours after the funeral of an Iranian commander whose killing in a US drone strike has intensified tensions in the region.

    Read more here...

  • 12:13 (IST)

    Trump's 'All is well' tweet made in attempt to downplay damage done in missile strike: Iranian state TV 

    The Iranian state TV claimed that Donald Trump's 'All is well' tweet was made in attempt to downplay the damage done by Tehran's attack on US troops in Iraq. Prior to this claim, the state TV also reported that the missile strikes have killed 80 "American terrorists".

  • 12:08 (IST)

    Hassan Rouhani to soon make announcement on missile strike 

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to soon deliver speech following the missile attack targeting US miliary air bases in Iraq, reports Press TV.

  • 12:01 (IST)

    Emirates Airline cancels return flight to Baghdad after missile strike in Iraq

    Following Iran's missile attack on US-led forces in Iraq, Dubai-based Emirates Airline cancelled a return flight to state capital Baghdad on Wednesday. Its sister carrier, flydubai, also cancelled a Wednesday flight to Baghdad.

  • 11:56 (IST)

    Singapore Airlines diverts all planes from Iranian air space 

    In view of the tension between United States and Iran, Singapore Airline has diverted all flights in and out of Europe from the Iranian airspace. "We will continue to monitor the situation closely," said the Airlines. 

  • 11:43 (IST)

    Iran claims to have 100 other targets if Washington had taken retaliatory measures  

    According to Iranian state TV, citing a senior Revolutionary Guards source, also said Iran had 100 other targets in the region in its sights if Washington took any retaliatory measures. It also said US helicopters and military equipment were “severely damaged”.

  • 11:37 (IST)

    80 'American terrorists' killed in Iran missile attacks on US bases in Iraq, claims Iranian Press 

    Iranian news network Press TV reported that at least 80 "American terrorists" were killed on Wednesday in attacks involving 15 missiles Tehran launched on US targets in Iraq. However, Press TV could not verify the reports on the number of casualties  

  • 11:17 (IST)

    Ukrainian plane shot down by Iranian missiles, claims Arabic newspaper

    Meanwhile, speculations on social media was doing the rounds regarding the Boeing 737 belonging to Ukraine International Airlines, which initially reported by state TV stated that it crashed due to technical problems near an airport in Tehran. 

    But, Al Hadath (Arabic newspaper in Jordan) just posted a claim that the Ukrainian plane was shot down by Iranian missile. 

  • 11:07 (IST)

    Important to avoid 'needless' provocation from Trump administration: Nancy Pelosi 

    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi Closely responded following the ballistic missile attacks in Iraq targeting US troops, saying "closely monitoring the situation". She further drew attention to the safety of service members and said it is crucial to end "needless" provocations from the Trump Administration. 

    "We must ensure the safety of our service members, including ending needless provocations from the Administration and demanding that Iran cease its violence. America and world cannot afford war," said Pelosi. 

  • 10:44 (IST)

    Iran will defend itself against any aggression: Foreign Minister Javad Zarif after missile attack on Iraqi military bases

    Following the multiple missile attacks in Iraq, Foreign Affairs Minister of Iran Javad Zarif tweeted saying that the country has "concluded" its attacks on American forces and does "not seek escalation or war".

    Zarif further said that Iran took the measures in self defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting the military bases, "from where cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched."

    "We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression," he added.

  • 10:33 (IST)

    Iran attacks on Iraqi bases comes in retaliation of American drone strike killing General Qassem Soleimani

    The Iranian missiles attacking Iraqi military base came in retaliation for an American drone strike that killed top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. Donald Trump and his advisers are under pressure to disclose more details about the intelligence that led to the US strike.

    Trump said Tuesday that his decision saved American lives and that members of Congress will get a briefing on the reasons for the US attack.

  • 10:30 (IST)

    MEA issues travel advisory for Iraq

    In view of the latest missile attack on Iraqi military bases on Wednesday, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a travel advisory to Indians, asking them to avoid all non-essential travel to the country until further notification. 

    Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar advised Indian nationals residing in Iraq to remain alert and avoid travel within Iraq. 

    "Our Embassy in Baghdad and Consulate in Erbil will continue to function normally to provide all services to Indians residing in Iraq," Kumar said.

  • 10:18 (IST)

    Donald Trump tweets 'So far, so good' after Iran fires missiles at at two Iraqi bases

    President Donald Trump insisted "All is well!" on Tuesday after Iran fired surface-to-surface missiles at two Iraqi bases housing US troops. He promised to make a statement to the nation on Wednesday morning about the increasingly precarious situation with Iran.

    Trump offered no immediate indication of whether he would retaliate, and stayed out of sight Tuesday night as news of the missile strikes emerged.

US-Iran Tensions Updates: Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in an address to the nation said "we slapped them (Americans) on the face last night" with a missile strike “but military action is not enough.”

He spoke hours after the strike at military bases in Iraq used by US forces. The strike was in retaliation for the US killing of Iran's top military commander in Baghdad.

Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran's ambassador to the United Kingdom, on Wednesday affirmed that the nation's attack on Iraqi military base targeting US troops was conducted in self defence.

He further warned the United States against any "adventurism" or their armed forces would "forcefully" respond.

Oil prices have risen after two bases hosting US troops in Iraq were hit by ballistic missiles. Brent crude was up by 1.4% at $69.21 per barrel in the middle of the Asian trade, easing back from earlier gains.

Iranian news network Press TV reported that at least 80 "American terrorists" were killed on Wednesday in attacks involving 15 missiles Tehran launched on US targets in Iraq. However, Press TV could not verify the reports on the number of casualties.

In view of the latest missile attack on Iraqi military bases on Wednesday, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a travel advisory to Indians, asking them to avoid all non-essential travel to the country until further notification.

Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar advised Indian nationals residing in Iraq to remain alert and avoid travel within Iraq.

"Our Embassy in Baghdad and Consulate in Erbil will continue to function normally to provide all services to Indians residing in Iraq," Kumar said.

President Donald Trump insisted "All is well!" on Tuesday after Iran fired surface-to-surface missiles at two Iraqi bases housing US troops. He promised to make a statement to the nation on Wednesday morning about the increasingly precarious situation with Iran.

Trump offered no immediate indication of whether he would retaliate, and stayed out of sight Tuesday night as news of the missile strikes emerged.

But he tweeted that an assessment of casualties and damages was under way. The initial outlook, he said, was "So far, so good!"

The Iranian missiles came in retaliation for an American drone strike that killed top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. Trump and his advisers are under pressure to disclose more details about the intelligence that led to the US strike.

Trump said Tuesday that his decision saved American lives and that members of Congress will get a briefing on the reasons for the US attack.

"They were planning something," he said of the Iranians.

Hours later, Iran struck back, firing the missiles at bases housing US troops and warning the United States and its allies in the region not to retaliate. The White House said the president was monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team.

So far, Trump and top national security officials have justified the airstrike with general statements about the threat posted by Soleimani, who commanded proxy forces outside Iran and was responsible for the deaths of American troops in Iraq. But the details have been scarce.

"He's no longer a monster. He's dead," Trump said, adding, "And that's a good thing for a lot of countries. He was planning a very big attack and a very bad attack for us and other people and we stopped him and I don't think anybody can complain about it."

Soleimani was targeted while he was at an airport in Baghdad with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a veteran Iraqi militant who also was killed.

Trump said they weren't in Baghdad to discuss vacation plans or a visit to a "nice resort but, were there to talk over bad business."

The lack of detail doesn't sit well with Democrats, who recall how President George W Bush justified his invasion of Iraq by accusing Saddam Hussein of having non-existent weapons of mass destruction. Lawmakers in recent days have been pressing for more detail to explain why Trump ordered the killing — a decision that previous administrations passed up because of fears it would unleash even more violence.

Soleimani traveled frequently and relatively openly, with visits to Baghdad more frequent in recent months. He also often showed up in Syria, including along the border between Iraq and Syria.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have called on Trump to declassify the written notification he sent to Congress after the strike. The notification was required under the War Powers Resolution Act of 1973, which requires the president to report to Congress when American forces are sent into hostile situations.

"The president must come to Congress and present clear and compelling intelligence as to why the strike against Soleimani was absolutely necessary," Menendez said in a speech on the Senate floor.

"In the wake of all its misleading statements we must make clear to the administration that the president by himself does not have the authority to launch a war against Iran."

Trump stressed that the strike was in retaliation for Iranian attacks and that the US is prepared to attack again — "very strongly". He also said that while he eventually wants to pull US troops out of Iraq, now is not the time because it would allow Iran to gain a bigger foothold there.

Trump's top national security officials made several public appearances on Tuesday to further defend the strike.

"We had deep intelligence indicating there was active plotting to put American lives at risk," and Iraqi lives too, said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Asked if the threat was imminent in days or weeks, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said: "I think it’s more fair to say days, for sure."

Esper said the intelligence was precise — "razor thin". He said top Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate plus the chairmen and vice chairmen of the intelligence committees in both chambers were getting a classified briefing Tuesday afternoon on what led to the decision to kill Soleimani. He said other lawmakers will be provided general details about the attack.

He said Soleimani was in Baghdad to coordinate additional attacks against the US "To somehow suggest that he wasn’t a legitimate target, I think, is fanciful," Esper said.

Democratic lawmakers are not yet convinced it was the right decision.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called the US strike on Soleimani a mistake and said "I have yet to see how killing this man will prevent Iran from posing an even greater threat against the United States and our interests."

In the wake of the killing, Iran has announced that it will no longer be bound by the 2015 nuclear agreement and vowed to retaliate against the US, its allies and American interests. Iraq's parliament also voted to expel US troops from Iraq, which would undermine efforts to fight Islamic State militants in the region and strengthen Iran's influence in the Mideast.

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Updated Date: Jan 08, 2020 14:16:52 IST