Iran’s Zarif says Trump trying to fabricate ‘pretext for war’

Iran’s Zarif says Trump trying to fabricate ‘pretext for war’

Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a top Baghdad-allied Shia militia commander, were killed on 3 January 2020 after their convoy was struck by a USA drone.

Soleimani's assassination prompted Iraqi lawmakers to pass a resolution demanding full American withdrawal from the country, despite US efforts to stop the vote.

"Instead of fighting Covid in US, Donald Trump and cohorts waste billions to fly B52s and send armadas to our region".

Tehran denied Trump's allegation.

The Iranian president echoed the December 16 speech of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini, who said Iran had a "definite plan" for revenge against the U.S.

The past year has passed with Soleimani's assassins in a constant state of "horror" due to "the hand holding a sword and a sledgehammer" that has been raised against them, Mousavi said, speaking to Iran's Tasnim news agency. Iran retaliated by launching over a dozen ballistic missiles at two U.S. bases in Iraq on 8 January, with over 100 United States troops injured in the strikes.

Washington fears that Tehran may retaliate against the U.S. before the anniversary of Soleimani's death, citing recent rocket attacks in Iraq that have hit the Green Zone in Baghdad, where the American embassy is located.

"Some friendly health advice to Iran", he wrote. As of Tuesday, the Nimitz was off the coast of Somalia to safeguard the withdrawal of U.S. troops, according to U.S. Africa Command.

The expulsion of the USA forces from the West Asia region is inevitable, Major General Baqeri said in the message, released on Thursday.

But of course there's also the possibility of the Trump Administration using an Iranian provocation to launch an action that's way beyond proportionate, as well as the possibility of simply inventing a predicate for US action.

Frank McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), which oversees American military operations in the Middle East. It was the third time in six weeks that U.S. B-52s had flown near Iran.

"We do not seek conflict, but no one should underestimate our ability to defend our forces or to act decisively in response to any attack", he said in a statement.

This is as the first anniversary (January 3) of the US assassination of Iranian top military commander Qassem Soleimani approaches, reported The Hill.

"The U.S. continues to deploy combat-ready capabilities into the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility to deter any potential adversary".

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon is aerial refueled by a KC-135 "Stratotanker" over the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility December 30, 2020 as part of an escort mission in support of the B-52 "Stratofortress" deployment.

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