US-Iran Conflict: Trump Approves More Sanctions On Iran

Iran shot down a Ukrainian airliner with two Russian-made surface-to-air missiles on Wednesday, a US official said.

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Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin just announced that President Trump is authorizing new sanctions in Iran.

The announcement comes at a time of heightened tensions between Iran and the US. Earlier this week, Iran launched strikes on Iraqi bases housing US troops. Those strikes were retaliation after the US killed a top Iranian general last week.

“We will cut off billions of dollars of support to the Iranian regime and we will continue our enforcement of other entities,” Mnuchin said.

Video shows the moment Ukraine plane crashed

CCTV footage obtained by CNN shows the moment the Ukraine plane crashed southwest of Tehran shortly after takeoff.

CNN geolocated this footage near a football pitch in the town of Khajal Abad, using satellite imagery and photos of the scene. The footage shows an explosion as the plane impacts the ground, leaving behind scores of debris and destruction.

The head of the Iran’s Civil Aviation Authority confirmed to CNN that the footage is authentic.

State Department says US wants to focus on US-Iraq partnership — not troop withdrawal

Morgan Ortagus
Morgan Ortagus

State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus issued a statement Friday stressing the United States’ “continued partnership with Iraq.”

Ortagus directly referenced Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi’s request that the US send a delegation to Iraq to discuss a mechanism for withdrawing troops, saying: “At this time, any delegation sent to Iraq would be dedicated to discussing how to best recommit to our strategic partnership—not to discuss troop withdrawal, but our right, appropriate force posture in the Middle East.”

“Our military presence in Iraq is to continue the fight against ISIS and as the Secretary has said, we are committed to protecting Americans, Iraqis, and our coalition partners,” Ortagus wrote. “We have been unambiguous regarding how crucial our D-ISIS mission is in Iraq.”

POTUS Donald Trump addressing the nation a few hours ago
POTUS Donald Trump addressing the nation a few days ago

Ortagus said in the statement that a NATO delegation is at the State Department today “to discuss increasing NATO’s role in Iraq, in line with the President’s desire for burden sharing in all of our collective defense efforts.”

“There does, however, need to be a conversation between the U.S. and Iraqi governments not just regarding security, but about our financial, economic, and diplomatic partnership. We want to be a friend and partner to a sovereign, prosperous, and stable Iraq,” she wrote.

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