Iran strikes back after US kills Quds Force commander; Middle East on tenterhooks

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was to arrive in New York today for a UN Security Council meeting but

iran us tensions

Photo: AFP

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was to arrive in New York today for a UN Security Council meeting but has been denied a visa amid continued escalating tensions with the US.

The Security Council meeting comes after Iran fired more than 20 ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq where US troops are stationed on Tuesday. No US casualties have been reported thus far. Iran has also said it would no longer abide by limits on its uranium enrichment, while the parliament in neighbouring Iraq—where Iranian influence is strong—voted to recommend expelling US troops from the country.

Tehran maintains the position that the US killing of Major General Qassim Suleimani was “a criminal act” of “state terrorism” by the US. President Donald Trump has in response doubled down on his threat to target 52 Iranian sites and threatened to hit Iraq with sanctions over the parliamentary vote.

The fallout from the strike remains unclear pending a response by the White House, but the threat of an escalated military conflict remains high and signals coming out of the Trump administration have been mixed as whether the US will escalate further. In the meantime, the White House is preparing to present allies with intelligence on the “imminent threat” it says prompted the attack and is sending 3,500 more troops to the region.

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