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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 81)

A One-Word Accusation Swirls Around Trump’s Deadly Strike: Assassination

Westlake Legal Group merlin_166699986_cf748faf-2eff-45fd-a3e4-ee86428ad47c-facebookJumbo A One-Word Accusation Swirls Around Trump’s Deadly Strike: Assassination United States Trump, Donald J Terrorism Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Obama, Barack Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Iran Hezbollah

A single word has become a focal point of concerns about President Trump’s decision to kill Iran’s top general: assassination.

There is no fixed, formal definition of assassination. But, as with many politically charged labels, the word has taken on significance broader than any one meaning, shorthand for concerns that Mr. Trump’s decision to kill Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani was unethical, illegitimate or dangerous.

The Trump administration says that its strike on General Suleimani was not an assassination, calling it a lawful and justifiable use of force.

Assassination is colloquially defined as a killing, or sometimes murder, for political purposes, particularly but not necessarily of a senior political leader.

Mr. Suleimani’s killing seems to fit that description. He was one of the senior-most figures in the government of Iran, a country that is not formally at war with the United States. While the Trump administration’s justifications have focused on halting what it says was an “imminent” attack, they have also included political aims, such as changing Iran’s behavior.

But there is also a second definition.

The United States banned assassination in 1976 but did not define it. Ever since, decades of legal interpretation and precedent-setting have evolved into a legal understanding of assassination that is intricate, disputed and narrower with each administration.

Government powers to target people abroad are becoming broader as well as “more contested and more complex,” said Susan Hennessey, executive editor of Lawfare, a legal affairs site. “The term ‘assassination’ is kind of the converse of that, an identification of where the government has exceeded its authority and violated its own ban.”

Past administrations have widened that authority so substantially that, “if you surveyed every legal scholar, you’re probably going to see a fairly strong agreement that this is probably lawful,” she said, referring to Mr. Suleimani’s killing.

But that would not make his killing just, moral or wise, Ms. Hennessey stressed, only that it would fall within legal precedents set by past administrations. And any rationale remains hypothetical. The administration has presented no legal justification, raising concerns that it may have acted without first establishing the order’s legality.

The gap between colloquial and legal definitions may reveal more than a linguistic issue. It parallels a growing divide between attitudes toward the appropriate use of deadly force and the American presidency’s self-assigned powers to kill abroad.

Mr. Suleimani’s killing, by taking those powers to new extremes, draws new attention to how they became so broad, and so cloaked in executive branch secrecy, that an act that meets virtually any colloquial definition of assassination could be considered legally permissible.

It helps to look at the intent of the original ban on assassination.

In the 1970s, Congressional investigations revealed a series of American plans or attempts to kill foreign leaders, provoking outrage at home and abroad. The plots were seen as violations of international norms and American values, as well as putting American leaders at risk.

President Ford issued an order banning the government from undertaking “political assassination,” but did not explicitly define the term. Beyond the clear intention of barring more plots against foreign leaders, the order’s implications were unclear.

Lawyers in the Reagan administration argued that a killing had to be unlawful in order to qualify as assassination — an interpretation that has held.

Kenneth Anderson, an American University law professor who advised the Obama administration on its program to target suspected terrorists abroad, said that, as a result, assassination came to generally mean an unlawful killing by the government.

But executive branch lawyers typically determine when the government has the power to kill someone abroad.

“There’s a little bit of a circular logic to that,” Ms. Hennessey said. “Anything the executive branch does, they’re going to say is lawful, so they’re going to say it’s never an assassination.”

Beginning with Mr. Reagan, each administration has broadened those powers, in turn narrowing what the government might consider an assassination.

Those expansions often focused on terrorist threats, such as a 1984 finding by Central Intelligence Agency lawyers that the administration could target members of Hezbollah, a Lebanese group. Hezbollah’s past attacks made it an ongoing threat, they reasoned; therefore, killing its members would constitute self-defense.

The attacks of September 11, 2001 — and subsequent public demands that presidents stop terrorists before they strike — led to ever-greater expansions, leaving Mr. Trump with a spectrum of legal interpretations and precedents to draw upon.

The Trump administration has hinted at, but not explicitly made, two legal rationales: that the general was a legitimate wartime target and that killing him was a justifiable act of self-defense.

The administration has cited, as legal authority, the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution, which approved the invasion of Iraq. The resolution is still in place, granting legal powers as if the war had never ended.

If the administration can demonstrate that Mr. Suleimani’s activities in Iraq made him an adversary in that conflict, it can call on broad wartime authority to target him, Mr. Anderson said.

The administration has mostly emphasized claims that Mr. Suleimani posed an “imminent threat” to American lives, hinting at legal precedents set by past presidents.

The Bush and Obama administrations concluded that they could, under certain conditions, lawfully kill someone who posed an imminent threat — or whose past actions suggested they could pose a future threat. Their findings, which drew on interpretations of domestic and international law as permitting attacks to halt imminent threats, formed the basis of much of their targeted killing programs. However, there is evidence that the U.S. government uses an expansive definition of “imminent,” and many dispute whether it actually meets international legal standards.

Mr. Anderson said that killing Mr. Suleimani would almost certainly have met legal standards used by the Obama administration, calling him “targetable” for his role in overseeing past proxy attacks against American forces.

The Trump administration, however, initially said its strike was to deter future attacks, not to stop one. It has provided little evidence for its claims of an imminent threat, and some officials privately say that the case is thin and may not represent Mr. Trump’s actual motivation.

Though some argue that the United States designation of Mr. Suleimani’s military group as a foreign terrorist organization bolsters the case for killing him, some legal scholars say that this is not relevant for determining whether he posed an imminent threat.

Killing Mr. Suleimani solely for political reasons, or in the absence of a sufficient legal rationale like an imminent threat, would open Mr. Trump to charges that the killing was unlawful and therefore an assassination.

Still, past administrations, citing secrecy, have at times presented little more legal justification than a promise that it had secured one, underscoring how far executive authority had expanded before Mr. Trump took office.

While the Trump administration has not presented a rationale under international law, Mary Ellen O’Connell, a University of Notre Dame law professor, argued on EJIL Talk, a site on international law, that details released so far “do not meet” the conditions of “lawful self-defense” that would be necessary to make the killing legal under international law.

Killing Mr. Suleimani, though, would mark a major escalation in the application of presidential authority, even if it might draw upon familiar legal justifications.

Those powers were established, Mr. Anderson said, at a time when “the circumstances were not really the same geopolitically.”

Precedents set in the era of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State are being carried over into a new world of regional power struggles and state-sponsored proxy conflict. But foreign militaries can retaliate in ways that ragtag terrorist groups cannot. And, as Mr. Trump is learning, violating the norm against killing foreign leaders can bring international isolation.

In a twist of historical irony, those expanding powers have led the United States back to the very action that the 1976 ban on assassination seemingly intended to ban: killing a senior leader in a country with which it is not at war.

Much like the Cold War plots that inspired that ban, Mr. Trump’s strike is focusing attention on the perils of unconstrained executive authority.

“Certainly this vindicates some of the concerns that opponents of the government’s assertions of executive power in this area had,” Ms. Hennessey said, arguing that also it showed Congress’s unwillingness to check presidential power.

Critics called Bush- and Obama-era targeted killing programs legally and ethically dubious, and argued that they set dangerous precedents. Many called the practice assassination, implying that legal rationales were baseless.

Even if legal scholars believe that past precedent could potentially clear the way for Mr. Trump’s strike, some express discomfort with both the underlying law and the real-world results.

“Many of the legal issues here are contested,” Ashley Meeks, a University of Virginia law professor, said on Lawfare’s podcast. “Which legal framework even applies to the killing? What does it mean for a threat to be imminent? Is that even the proper test for today?”

Samuel Moyn, a Yale Law School professor also on the podcast, questioned whether, on a topic like assassination, legal definitional matters really could or should be taken in isolation.

“The reality is that law is always politicized, in this area especially,” he said, adding that concerns about the legality of, say, a drone strike “are really not about the law. They’re about legitimation or delegitimation of this president, or of American war, in this case or in general.”

If a controversy like the legality of killing of Mr. Suleimani is treated as solely a matter of legal definitions, he added, “then we miss the point of talking about it.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

A One-Word Accusation Swirls Around Trump’s Deadly Strike: Assassination

Westlake Legal Group merlin_166699986_cf748faf-2eff-45fd-a3e4-ee86428ad47c-facebookJumbo A One-Word Accusation Swirls Around Trump’s Deadly Strike: Assassination United States Trump, Donald J Terrorism Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Obama, Barack Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Iran Hezbollah

A single word has become a focal point of concerns about President Trump’s decision to kill Iran’s top general: assassination.

There is no fixed, formal definition of assassination. But, as with many politically charged labels, the word has taken on significance broader than any one meaning, shorthand for concerns that Mr. Trump’s decision to kill Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani was unethical, illegitimate or dangerous.

The Trump administration says that its strike on General Suleimani was not an assassination, calling it a lawful and justifiable use of force.

Assassination is colloquially defined as a killing, or sometimes murder, for political purposes, particularly but not necessarily of a senior political leader.

Mr. Suleimani’s killing seems to fit that description. He is one of the senior-most figures in the government of Iran, a country that is not formally at war with the United States. While the Trump administration’s justifications have focused on halting what it says was an “imminent” attack it has also included political aims, such as changing Iran’s behavior.

But there is also a second definition.

The United States banned assassination in 1976 but did not define it. Ever since, decades of legal interpretation and precedent-setting have evolved into a legal understanding of assassination that is intricate, disputed and narrower with each administration.

Government powers to target people abroad are becoming broader as well as “more contested and more complex,” said Susan Hennessey, executive editor of Lawfare, a legal affairs site. “The term ‘assassination’ is kind of the converse of that, an identification of where the government has exceeded its authority and violated its own ban.”

Past administrations have widened that authority so substantially that, “if you surveyed every legal scholar, you’re probably going to see a fairly strong agreement that this is probably lawful,” she said, referring to Mr. Suleimani’s killing.

But that would not make his killing just, moral or wise, Ms. Hennessey stressed, only that it would fall within legal precedents set by past administrations. And any rationale remains hypothetical. The administration has presented no legal justification, raising concerns that it may have acted without first establishing the order’s legality.

The gap between colloquial and legal definitions may reveal more than a linguistic issue. It parallels a growing divide between attitudes toward the appropriate use of deadly force and the American presidency’s self-assigned powers to kill abroad.

Mr. Suleimani’s killing, by taking those powers to new extremes, draws new attention to how they became so broad, and so cloaked in executive branch secrecy, that an act that meets virtually any colloquial definition of assassination could be considered legally permissible.

It helps to look at the intent of the original ban on assassination.

In the 1970s, Congressional investigations revealed a series of American plans or attempts to kill foreign leaders, provoking outrage at home and abroad. The plots were seen as violations of international norms and American values, as well as putting American leaders at risk.

President Ford issued an order banning the government from undertaking “political assassination,” but did not explicitly define the term. Beyond the clear intention of barring more plots against foreign leaders, the order’s implications were unclear.

Lawyers in the Reagan administration argued that a killing had to be unlawful in order to qualify as assassination — an interpretation that has held.

Kenneth Anderson, an American University law professor who advised the Obama administration on its program to target suspected terrorists abroad, said that, as a result, assassination came to generally mean an unlawful killing by the government.

But executive branch lawyers typically determine when the government has the power to kill someone abroad.

“There’s a little bit of a circular logic to that,” Ms. Hennessey said. “Anything the executive branch does, they’re going to say is lawful, so they’re going to say it’s never an assassination.”

Beginning with Mr. Reagan, each administration has broadened those powers, in turn narrowing what the government might consider an assassination.

Those expansions often focused on terrorist threats, such as a 1984 finding by Central Intelligence Agency lawyers that the administration could target members of Hezbollah, a Lebanese group. Hezbollah’s past attacks made it an ongoing threat, they reasoned; therefore, killing its members would constitute self-defense.

The attacks of September 11, 2001 — and subsequent public demands that presidents stop terrorists before they strike — led to ever-greater expansions, leaving Mr. Trump with a spectrum of legal interpretations and precedents to draw upon.

The Trump administration has hinted at, but not explicitly made, two legal rationales: that the general was a legitimate wartime target and that killing him was a justifiable act of self-defense.

The administration has cited, as legal authority, the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution, which approved the invasion of Iraq. The resolution is still in place, granting legal powers as if the war had never ended.

If the administration can demonstrate that Mr. Suleimani’s activities in Iraq made him an adversary in that conflict, it can call on broad wartime authority to target him, Mr. Anderson said.

The administration has mostly emphasized claims that Mr. Suleimani posed an “imminent threat” to American lives, hinting at legal precedents set by past presidents.

The Bush and Obama administrations concluded that they could, under certain conditions, lawfully kill someone who posed an imminent threat — or whose past actions suggested they could pose a future threat. Their findings, which drew on interpretations of domestic and international law as permitting attacks to halt imminent threats, formed the basis of much of their targeted killing programs. However, there is evidence that the U.S. government uses an expansive definition of “imminent,” and many dispute whether it actually meets international legal standards.

Mr. Anderson said that killing Mr. Suleimani would almost certainly have met legal standards used by the Obama administration, calling him “targetable” for his role in overseeing past proxy attacks against American forces.

The Trump administration, however, initially said its strike was to deter future attacks, not to stop one. It has provided little evidence for its claims of an imminent threat, and some officials privately say that the case is thin and may not represent Mr. Trump’s actual motivation.

Though some argue that the United States designation of Mr. Suleimani’s military group as a foreign terrorist organization bolsters the case for killing him, some legal scholars say that this is not relevant for determining whether he posed an imminent threat.

Killing Mr. Suleimani solely for political reasons, or in the absence of a sufficient legal rationale like an imminent threat, would open Mr. Trump to charges that the killing was unlawful and therefore an assassination.

Still, past administrations, citing secrecy, have at times presented little more legal justification than a promise that it had secured one, underscoring how far executive authority had expanded before Mr. Trump took office.

While the Trump administration has not presented a rationale under international law, Mary Ellen O’Connell, a University of Notre Dame law professor, argued on EJIL Talk, a site on international law, that details released so far “do not meet” the conditions of “lawful self-defense” that would be necessary to make the killing legal under international law.

Killing Mr. Suleimani, though, would mark a major escalation in the application of presidential authority, even if it might draw upon familiar legal justifications.

Those powers were established, Mr. Anderson said, at a time when “the circumstances were not really the same geopolitically.”

Precedents set in the era of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State are being carried over into a new world of regional power struggles and state-sponsored proxy conflict. But foreign militaries can retaliate in ways that ragtag terrorist groups cannot. And, as Mr. Trump is learning, violating the norm against killing foreign leaders can bring international isolation.

In a twist of historical irony, those expanding powers have led the United States back to the very action that the 1976 ban on assassination seemingly intended to ban: killing a senior leader in a country with which it is not at war.

Much like the Cold War plots that inspired that ban, Mr. Trump’s strike is focusing attention on the perils of unconstrained executive authority.

“Certainly this vindicates some of the concerns that opponents of the government’s assertions of executive power in this area had,” Ms. Hennessey said, arguing that also it showed Congress’s unwillingness to check presidential power.

Critics called Bush- and Obama-era targeted killing programs legally and ethically dubious, and argued that they set dangerous precedents. Many called the practice assassination, implying that legal rationales were baseless.

Even if legal scholars believe that past precedent could potentially clear the way for Mr. Trump’s strike, some express discomfort with both the underlying law and the real-world results.

“Many of the legal issues here are contested,” Ashley Meeks, a University of Virginia law professor, said on Lawfare’s podcast. “Which legal framework even applies to the killing? What does it mean for a threat to be imminent? Is that even the proper test for today?”

Samuel Moyn, a Yale Law School professor also on the podcast, questioned whether, on a topic like assassination, legal definitional matters really could or should be taken in isolation.

“The reality is that law is always politicized, in this area especially,” he said, adding that concerns about the legality of, say, a drone strike “are really not about the law. They’re about legitimation or delegitimation of this president, or of American war, in this case or in general.”

If a controversy like the legality of killing of Mr. Suleimani is treated as solely a matter of legal definitions, he added, “then we miss the point of talking about it.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Defense Secretary Says Iran Was Within Days of Attacking U.S. Interests: Live Updates

Here are the latest developments:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166799313_fc11a71a-d128-42d3-9a9e-b44afefc71b0-articleLarge Defense Secretary Says Iran Was Within Days of Attacking U.S. Interests: Live Updates Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Defense and Military Forces

A vigil for General Suleimani in Tehran on Tuesday evening.Credit…Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said Tuesday that Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani was planning attacks to occur within days, laying out the administration’s legal justification for killing the Iranian commander in a drone strike.

Americans officials have been pressed over their claims that they targeted General Suleimani to forestall imminent attacks against U.S. interests.

At a Pentagon news conference Tuesday, Mr. Esper was asked whether attacks had been expected in days or weeks. “I think it’s more fair to say days,” the defense secretary said.

He declined to offer more details, nor to describe the intelligence underpinning that assessment.

Mr. Esper said General Suleimani, who was killed Friday in Iraq, “was in Baghdad to coordinate additional attacks.”

“He’s been conducting terrorist activities against us and our coalition partners for over 20 years,” Mr. Esper said. “He has the blood of hundreds of Americans, soldiers, on his hands and wounded thousands more. And then we could talk about all of the mayhem he’s caused against the Syrian people, the people of Lebanon. Even his own people in Iran.”

He added: “To somehow suggest that he wasn’t a legitimate target, I think, is fanciful. He was clearly on the battlefield.”

Mr. Esper also said that despite to an unsigned draft letter from the American military command in Baghdad on troop withdrawal and a unanimous vote by the Iraqi Parliament, the United States does not plan to pull its troops out of Iraq right now.

The Pentagon has made preparations in anticipation of Iranian retaliation, Mr. Esper said, and American troops in the Middle East are on a heightened state of alert.

“I think we should expect that they will retaliate in some way, shape or form,” Mr. Esper told a news conference at the Pentagon. “We’re prepared for any contingency and then we’ll respond appropriately to whatever they do.”

President Trump on Tuesday told reporters he would avoid targeting cultural sites in military attacks, walking back a threat he made against Iran days earlier.

Following a bipartisan and international uproar, Mr. Trump conceded that striking such sites would amount to a war crime. “If that’s what the law is, I like to obey the law,” he said in the Oval Office as he hosted the visiting prime minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

His remarks to reporters came a day after Mark T. Esper, the secretary of defense, said striking Iranian cultural sites with no military value would be a war crime. That appeared to put him at odds with his boss.

“We will follow the laws of armed conflict,” the defense secretary said at a news briefing at the Pentagon on Monday when asked if cultural sites would be targeted.

On Saturday, Mr. Trump declared that the United States had identified 52 potential targets in Iran, some “important to Iran & the Iranian culture.”

None of them qualified as cultural sites, according to an administration official who asked not to be identified.

But the president’s threats and his initial refusal to back down in the face of criticism generated condemnation at home and abroad while deeply discomfiting American military leaders.

Reports reached Washington on Tuesday that an Iraqi military base where American troops are deployed was rocketed by Iran or its proxy forces.

But officials subsequently said the early report of an attack appeared to be false.

Bases in Iraq are routinely hit by rockets and mortar fire.

NATO is removing some of the trainers who have been working with Iraqi soldiers battling the Islamic State, in the wake of the American killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani.

On Monday, the NATO secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, announced that training had been temporarily suspended.

Describing security of NATO personnel, the organization said in a statement that it would be taking precautions — including “the temporary repositioning of some personnel to different locations both inside and outside Iraq.’’

NATO “maintains a presence in Iraq’’ and remains committed “to fighting international terrorism,” an official said, but refused to provide “operational details’’ about troop movements.

NATO has had roughly 500 soldiers doing the training.

Some NATO countries, like Canada, Germany and Croatia, have announced that they are moving troops out of Iraq altogether, at least temporarily, because of security concerns.

Canada is temporarily moving to Kuwait some of its 500 military personnel based in Iraq, the country’s top military official, Gen. Jonathan Vance said in a letter posted on Twitter on Tuesday.

Thirty of the 120 German soldiers in Iraq will be sent to Jordan and Kuwait, while others will remain positioned in the less volatile Kurdistan region, the German defense and foreign ministries said in a joint letter to the German parliament, the Bundestag.

“When the training is able to resume, the military personnel can be reinstated,” the letter said.

Croatia has also moved its small contingent of soldiers — 14 — from Iraq, with seven bound for Kuwait and the rest headed home, the Croatian Defense Ministry said. Slovakia has also removed its seven soldiers.

Some NATO troops began leaving Baghdad’s Green Zone in helicopters Monday night. The NATO training mission began in 2018 at Iraq’s request.

The killing of General Suleimani initially jolted oil markets, but the surge in prices has eased. On Tuesday afternoon, the Brent crude oil benchmark was down about 1.5 percent, to about $67.87 a barrel.

Analysts attribute the modesty of the increase to market skepticism that Iran will seek to hobble oil trading by, for example, closing the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow channel that many oil tankers have to pass through when they leave the Persian Gulf.

Oil flows have not been disrupted, so far, and the markets are “pricing in just a low probability of something happening,” said Bjornar Tonhaugen, head of oil market research at Rystad Energy, a research firm.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 07iran-briefing5-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Defense Secretary Says Iran Was Within Days of Attacking U.S. Interests: Live Updates Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Defense and Military Forces

As Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani’s body was taken home for burial, a crush is believed to have killed dozens of mourners who crowded the streets of Kerman, Iran.CreditCredit…Atta Kenare/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Iranian state-run news outlets reported a deadly stampede during the funeral procession for General Suleimani in his hometown, Kerman, in southeastern Iran, on Tuesday.

Millions were reported to have flooded the town’s streets to witness the procession for the general, who was killed in an American drone strike in Baghdad last week. His death has fanned smoldering tensions between the United States and Iran, and fueled fears of a broader conflict.

The crowding and subsequent stampede in Kerman led to General Suleimani’s burial being postponed, state news media reported. It is still unclear when he will be buried.

Photographs of the procession showed an elaborately decorated truck carrying General Suleimani’s coffin through streets packed densely with mourners, many wearing black and carrying pictures of the dead commander.

“Unfortunately, as a result of a stampede, some of our compatriots have been injured and some have been killed during the funeral processions,” Pirhossein Koulivand, head of the Iranian emergency medical services, told the news agency IRIB.

Fifty-six people died and 213 were injured, the broadcaster IRIB reported on its website.

Images and videos posted on social media showed the aftermath of the crush, with emergency workers and bystanders attempting to resuscitate people lying on the ground. The lifeless bodies of other victims, jackets covering their faces, could be seen nearby.

The general’s body had been flown to Kerman after a funeral in Tehran on Monday that had brought even bigger crowds into the streets of the Iranian capital.

In a fiery speech made in General Suleimani’s hometown on Tuesday, the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps vowed to “set ablaze” places where Americans and their allies live.

“We will take revenge — a revenge that will be tough, strong, decisive and finishing and will make them regret,” the corps’s leader, Hossein Salami, said on Tuesday in a front of a crowd of mourners. “We will set ablaze the place they like, and they know where it is.”

“Today, the seeds of hatred for the U.S. have been sown in the hearts of Muslims,” he added, according to Fars, an Iranian news agency associated with the Revolutionary Guards.

The pledge to seek vengeance echoed the rhetoric of many of the country’s leaders since General Suleimani’s killing on Friday. “Death to Israel,” the crowd chanted back, according to news reports. Israel, a close ally of the United States, has long been an enemy of Iran.

Thousands of mourners, dressed in black and carrying photos of General Suleimani, crowded the central square of Kerman, where the general’s body was taken for burial after a funeral procession on Monday in Tehran, the capital.

Before arriving in Kerman, the general’s remains were taken to the holy city of Qom, where thousands of residents came out, hoping for a chance to touch the coffin of a man the state has declared a martyr.

On Monday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wept and offered prayers over General Suleimani’s coffin at the enormous state funeral. The ayatollah, Iran’s supreme leader, had a close relationship with the general, who was widely considered to be the country’s second-most powerful man.

General Suleimani’s successor swore revenge during Monday’s ceremony.

“God the almighty has promised to get his revenge, and God is the main avenger,” said Esmail Ghaani, the Iranian general who will succeed General Suleimani as head of the Quds Force, the foreign expeditionary arm of the Revolutionary Guards. “Certainly, actions will be taken,” he added.

With the American role in the Middle East in flux, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia flew to Damascus, Syria, on Tuesday for a victory lap of sorts.

Highlighting Russia’s newfound influence in the region, Mr. Putin met with President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, the strongman whose rule was largely rescued by Russian military intervention in Syria’s civil war.

Mr. Putin told Mr. al-Assad that “one can now confidently state that huge strides have been made in restoring Syrian statehood and the territorial integrity of the country,” a Kremlin statement said.

The Kremlin made no mention of Iran in its description of Mr. Putin’s visit, which had not been announced ahead of time. But Tehran was a crucial partner of Moscow in propping up Mr. al-Assad against Syrian rebels, including those backed by the United States.

Russia has called the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani of Iran illegal and expressed condolences to Tehran. On Wednesday, Mr. Putin is scheduled to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey in Istanbul, with Syria and Libya on the agenda, according to the Kremlin.

President Emmanuel Macron of France spoke with the president of Iran, Hassan Rohani, by phone on Tuesday afternoon to plead for calm and de-escalation.

Mr. Macron called on Iran to “refrain from any step that might aggravate the escalation already underway,” according to a statement from the Élysée Palace, the seat of the French presidency.

France has tried to play the role of mediator between the Iranians and Americans for months, but in vain.

The French president also called on Iran to respect the 2015 nuclear accord, and to release two French academics, Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal, who are being held there, a major source of tension between the two countries.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, said on Tuesday that he had been rejected for a visa to attend a Security Council meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York, confirming reports from American news outlets that he would be barred.

Mr. Zarif, in an interview with the Iranian news outlet Press TV, said that his office had requested a visa weeks ago to participate in the meeting on Thursday, rejecting claims by American officials that they had not had time to process the application.

“The Americans are trying to create the impression that our request to attend the meeting was put forth following the assassination of General Suleimani,” Mr. Zarif said, according to the news outlet, adding, “The question everyone needs to be asking this lawbreaking administration is: What are they so scared of?”

Mr. Zarif later posted on Twitter about the situation, taking aim at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Trump.

During a Tuesday morning news conference, Mr. Pompeo was asked about the visa but said he would not comment specifically on visa matters. He added that the United States would “comply with our obligations” under United Nations rules.

Robert C. O’Brien, the American national security adviser, was asked on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday morning about the visa.

“I don’t think Secretary Pompeo thought that this was the right time for Mr. Zarif to come to the United States, and whenever he comes to New York, he spreads propaganda,” Mr. O’Brien said.

In August, the United States announced sanctions on Mr. Zarif, a seasoned diplomat who helped negotiate the 2015 nuclear deal.

Across the Middle East and the world, United States embassies warned Americans of potential attacks from Iran, as Iranian generals vowed to avenge the senior commander killed in an American drone strike.

In Jerusalem, the embassy told Americans on Monday to watch out for “mortars and rocket fire.” A day earlier, the United States Mission in Saudi Arabia had warned citizens to be prepared for “missile and drone attacks.”

The security alerts follow the targeted killing on Friday of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leading figure in Iran’s foreign-facing intelligence and military operations.

At General Suleimani’s funeral in Tehran on Monday, military commanders promised vengeance. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told advisers that any retaliation against the United States should be direct, proportional and carried out openly by Iran.

That is a startling departure for the Iranian leadership, which has typically cloaked its attacks behind the actions of proxies it has cultivated around the region. But in the fury generated by the killing of General Suleimani, a close ally and personal friend of the supreme leader, the ayatollah was apparently willing to cast aside those traditional cautions.

Warnings to United State citizens were sent by American diplomats not only in the Middle East but also in Asia.

The American Embassy in Beijing, citing “heightened tension in the Middle East,” advised American citizens on Tuesday to keep a low profile, be aware of their surroundings, stay alert in tourist locations, review personal security plans and ensure that their travel documents were updated and accessible. American citizens in South Korea said they had received similar warnings.

American diplomats in the Middle East began sending advisories earlier in the week.

American embassies across the region have been on heightened alert since Dec. 31, when militants, backed by the Iranian government, stormed the embassy in Baghdad. President Trump said the assault was organized by General Suleimani.

Last week, embassies in Baghdad and in Beirut, Lebanon, issued security alerts. Some airlines have halted flights to the Iraqi capital, including EgyptAir, which on Tuesday announced that its flights in and out of the city would stop from Wednesday through Friday.

The Iranian Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill declaring the American military’s top leadership to be “terrorists,” subject to Iranian sanctions, according to news reports in state media.

The bill aimed at the Pentagon’s top brass mirrored a Trump administration policy implemented in April that imposed economic and travel sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as well as organizations, companies and individuals with ties to it.

That policy represented the first time an arm of a sovereign government had been designated a terrorist organization.

The Defense Department said the killing of General Suleimani was justified in part because of the corps’s terrorist designation. General Suleimani led the Quds Force, a unit of the Revolutionary Guards that conducted intelligence-gathering and attacks outside Iran’s borders.

An official letter from the Defense Department informing Iraq that American troops were “repositioning forces” for “movement out of Iraq” produced headlines around the world saying that an American withdrawal had begun.

But the letter, drafted by the United States military command in Baghdad, was sent out by mistake. The furor it caused prompted Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, to call an urgent news conference to deny the reports.

“It was an honest mistake,” General Milley told reporters at the Pentagon. “That letter is a draft, it was a mistake, it was unsigned, it should not have been released.”

Reporting was contributed by Megan Specia, Russell Goldman, Farnaz Fassihi, David D. Kirkpatrick, Melissa Eddy, Edward Wong, Lara Jakes, Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman, Alissa J. Rubin, Ben Hubbard, Mark Landler, Helene Cooper, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Adam Nossiter and Anton Troianovski.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Don’t Tilt Scales Against Trump, Facebook Executive Warns

Westlake Legal Group 07boz-facebookJumbo Don’t Tilt Scales Against Trump, Facebook Executive Warns Zuckerberg, Mark E Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 Online Advertising News and News Media Facebook Inc Bosworth, Andrew (1982- )

SAN FRANCISCO — Since the 2016 election, when Russian trolls and a tsunami of misinformation turned social media into a partisan battlefield, Facebook has wrestled with the role it played in President Trump’s victory.

Now, according to a memo obtained by The New York Times, a longtime Facebook executive told employees that the company had a moral duty not to tilt the scales against Mr. Trump as he seeks re-election.

On Dec. 30, Andrew Bosworth, the head of Facebook’s virtual and augmented reality division, wrote on his internal Facebook page that, as a liberal, he found himself wanting to use the social network’s powerful platform against Mr. Trump. But citing the “Lord of the Rings” franchise and the philosopher John Rawls, Mr. Bosworth said that doing so would eventually backfire.

“I find myself desperately wanting to pull any lever at my disposal to avoid the same result,” he wrote. “So what stays my hand? I find myself thinking of the Lord of the Rings at this moment.

“Specifically when Frodo offers the ring to Galadrial and she imagines using the power righteously, at first, but knows it will eventually corrupt her,” he said, misspelling the name of the character Galadriel. “As tempting as it is to use the tools available to us to change the outcome, I am confident we must never do that or we will become that which we fear.”

In a meandering 2,500-word post, titled “Thoughts for 2020,” Mr. Bosworth weighed in on issues including political polarization, Russian interference and the news media’s treatment of Facebook. He gave a frank assessment of Facebook’s shortcomings in recent years, saying that the company had been “late” to address the issues of data security, misinformation and foreign interference. And he accused the left of overreach, saying that when it came to calling people Nazis, “I think my fellow liberals are a bit too, well, liberal.”

Mr. Bosworth also waded into the debate over the health effects of social media, rejecting what he called “wildly offensive” comparisons of Facebook to addictive substances like nicotine. He instead compared Facebook to sugar, and said users were responsible for moderating their own intake.

“If I want to eat sugar and die an early death that is a valid position,” Mr. Bosworth wrote. “My grandfather took such a stance towards bacon and I admired him for it. And social media is likely much less fatal than bacon.”

The post by Mr. Bosworth, a former head of Facebook’s advertising team, provides an unusually candid glimpse of the debates raging within Facebook about the platform’s responsibilities as it heads into the 2020 election.

The biggest of those debates is whether Facebook should change its rules governing political speech. Posts by politicians are exempt from many of Facebook’s current rules, and their ads are not submitted for fact-checking, giving them license to mislead voters with partisan misinformation.

Last year, platforms like Twitter and Google announced restrictions to their political advertising tools ahead of the 2020 election.

Facebook and its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, have faced heavy pressure from Democrats and Republicans, including Mr. Trump’s campaign, not to restrict its own powerful ad platform, which allows political campaigns to reach targeted audiences and raise money from supporters. But other politicians, and some Facebook employees, including a group that petitioned Mr. Zuckerberg in October, have argued that the social network has a responsibility to stamp out misinformation on its platform, including in posts by politicians.

Mr. Bosworth said that even though keeping the current policies in place “very well may lead to” Mr. Trump’s re-election, it was the right decision.

Dozens of Facebook employees pushed back on Mr. Bosworth’s conclusions, arguing in the comments section below his post that politicians should be held to the same standard as other Facebook users. They debated whether Facebook should ban or remove posts by politicians, including Mr. Trump, that included hate speech or forms of misinformation.

One Facebook employee warned that if the company continued to take its current approach, it risked promoting populist leaders around the world, including in the United States.

A Facebook spokeswoman provided a statement from Mr. Bosworth in which he said that the post “wasn’t written for public consumption,” but that he “hoped this post would encourage my co-workers to continue to accept criticism with grace as we accept the responsibility we have overseeing our platform.”

Ultimately, the decision on whether to allow politicians to spread misinformation on Facebook rests with Mr. Zuckerberg. In recent months, he has appeared to stand firm on the decision to keep the existing ad policies in place, saying that he believes Facebook should not become an arbiter of truth. But he has also left himself room to change his mind. In November, a Facebook spokesman said the company was “looking at different ways we might refine our approach to political ads.”

Among those lobbying Mr. Zuckerberg is President Trump himself, who claimed on a radio show on Monday that Mr. Zuckerberg had congratulated him on being “No. 1” on Facebook during a private dinner.

Mr. Bosworth said he believed Facebook was responsible for Mr. Trump’s 2016 election victory, but not because of Russian interference or the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which millions of Facebook users’ data was leaked to a political strategy firm that worked with the Trump campaign. Mr. Bosworth said the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica revelations — uncovered by The Times, working with The Observer of London and The Guardian — rightly changed the conversation around how Facebook should handle user data, and which companies should be given access to that data.

But, he said, Mr. Trump simply used Facebook’s advertising tools effectively.

“He didn’t get elected because of Russia or misinformation or Cambridge Analytica,” Mr. Bosworth wrote. “He got elected because he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser. Period.”

Mr. Bosworth, a longtime confidant of Mr. Zuckerberg’s who is viewed by some inside Facebook as a proxy for the chief executive, has been an outspoken defender of the company’s positions in the past.

In 2018, BuzzFeed News published a memo Mr. Bosworth wrote in 2016 justifying the company’s growth-at-all-costs ethos, in which he said the company’s mission of connecting people was “de facto good,” even if it resulted in deaths.

After the memo’s publication, a Facebook executive said the company wished it could “go back and hit delete” on Mr. Bosworth’s 2016 post.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Don’t Tilt Scales Against Trump, Facebook Executive Warns

Westlake Legal Group 07boz-facebookJumbo Don’t Tilt Scales Against Trump, Facebook Executive Warns Zuckerberg, Mark E Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 Online Advertising News and News Media Facebook Inc Bosworth, Andrew (1982- )

SAN FRANCISCO — Since the 2016 election, when Russian trolls and a tsunami of misinformation turned social media into a partisan battlefield, Facebook has wrestled with the role it played in President Trump’s victory.

Now, according to a memo obtained by The New York Times, a longtime Facebook executive told employees that the company had a moral duty not to tilt the scales against Mr. Trump as he seeks re-election.

On Dec. 30, Andrew Bosworth, the head of Facebook’s virtual and augmented reality division, wrote on his internal Facebook page that, as a liberal, he found himself wanting to use the social network’s powerful platform against Mr. Trump. But citing the “Lord of the Rings” franchise and the philosopher John Rawls, Mr. Bosworth said that doing so would eventually backfire.

“I find myself desperately wanting to pull any lever at my disposal to avoid the same result,” he wrote. “So what stays my hand? I find myself thinking of the Lord of the Rings at this moment.

“Specifically when Frodo offers the ring to Galadrial and she imagines using the power righteously, at first, but knows it will eventually corrupt her,” he said, misspelling the name of the character Galadriel. “As tempting as it is to use the tools available to us to change the outcome, I am confident we must never do that or we will become that which we fear.”

In a meandering 2,500-word post, titled “Thoughts for 2020,” Mr. Bosworth weighed in on issues including political polarization, Russian interference and the news media’s treatment of Facebook. He gave a frank assessment of Facebook’s shortcomings in recent years, saying that the company had been “late” to address the issues of data security, misinformation and foreign interference. And he accused the left of overreach, saying that when it came to calling people Nazis, “I think my fellow liberals are a bit too, well, liberal.”

Mr. Bosworth also waded into the debate over the health effects of social media, rejecting what he called “wildly offensive” comparisons of Facebook to addictive substances like nicotine. He instead compared Facebook to sugar, and said users were responsible for moderating their own intake.

“If I want to eat sugar and die an early death that is a valid position,” Mr. Bosworth wrote. “My grandfather took such a stance towards bacon and I admired him for it. And social media is likely much less fatal than bacon.”

The post by Mr. Bosworth, a former head of Facebook’s advertising team, provides an unusually candid glimpse of the debates raging within Facebook about the platform’s responsibilities as it heads into the 2020 election.

The biggest of those debates is whether Facebook should change its rules governing political speech. Posts by politicians are exempt from many of Facebook’s current rules, and their ads are not submitted for fact-checking, giving them license to mislead voters with partisan misinformation.

Last year, platforms like Twitter and Google announced restrictions to their political advertising tools ahead of the 2020 election.

Facebook and its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, have faced heavy pressure from Democrats and Republicans, including Mr. Trump’s campaign, not to restrict its own powerful ad platform, which allows political campaigns to reach targeted audiences and raise money from supporters. But other politicians, and some Facebook employees, including a group that petitioned Mr. Zuckerberg in October, have argued that the social network has a responsibility to stamp out misinformation on its platform, including in posts by politicians.

Mr. Bosworth said that even though keeping the current policies in place “very well may lead to” Mr. Trump’s re-election, it was the right decision.

Dozens of Facebook employees pushed back on Mr. Bosworth’s conclusions, arguing in the comments section below his post that politicians should be held to the same standard as other Facebook users. They debated whether Facebook should ban or remove posts by politicians, including Mr. Trump, that included hate speech or forms of misinformation.

One Facebook employee warned that if the company continued to take its current approach, it risked promoting populist leaders around the world, including in the United States.

A Facebook spokeswoman provided a statement from Mr. Bosworth in which he said that the post “wasn’t written for public consumption,” but that he “hoped this post would encourage my co-workers to continue to accept criticism with grace as we accept the responsibility we have overseeing our platform.”

Ultimately, the decision on whether to allow politicians to spread misinformation on Facebook rests with Mr. Zuckerberg. In recent months, he has appeared to stand firm on the decision to keep the existing ad policies in place, saying that he believes Facebook should not become an arbiter of truth. But he has also left himself room to change his mind. In November, a Facebook spokesman said the company was “looking at different ways we might refine our approach to political ads.”

Among those lobbying Mr. Zuckerberg is President Trump himself, who claimed on a radio show on Monday that Mr. Zuckerberg had congratulated him on being “No. 1” on Facebook during a private dinner.

Mr. Bosworth said he believed Facebook was responsible for Mr. Trump’s 2016 election victory, but not because of Russian interference or the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which millions of Facebook users’ data was leaked to a political strategy firm that worked with the Trump campaign. Mr. Bosworth said the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica revelations — uncovered by The Times, working with The Observer of London and The Guardian — rightly changed the conversation around how Facebook should handle user data, and which companies should be given access to that data.

But, he said, Mr. Trump simply used Facebook’s advertising tools effectively.

“He didn’t get elected because of Russia or misinformation or Cambridge Analytica,” Mr. Bosworth wrote. “He got elected because he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser. Period.”

Mr. Bosworth, a longtime confidant of Mr. Zuckerberg’s who is viewed by some inside Facebook as a proxy for the chief executive, has been an outspoken defender of the company’s positions in the past.

In 2018, BuzzFeed News published a memo Mr. Bosworth wrote in 2016 justifying the company’s growth-at-all-costs ethos, in which he said the company’s mission of connecting people was “de facto good,” even if it resulted in deaths.

After the memo’s publication, a Facebook executive said the company wished it could “go back and hit delete” on Mr. Bosworth’s 2016 post.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Pompeo Says Iran Posed Continued Threat to the U.S.: Live Updates

Here are the latest developments:

Video

transcript

‘It Was the Right Decision’: Pompeo Defends Attack Against Suleimani

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, but did not provide new details about what led to the drone strike against the Iranian commander.

So if you’re looking for imminence you need look no further than the days that led up to the strike that was taken against Suleimani. And then you in addition to that, have what we could clearly see were continuing efforts on behalf of this terrorist to build out a network of campaign activities that were going to lead, potentially, to the death of many more Americans. It was the right decision — we got it right — the Department of Defense did excellent work. All of the others were prepared for what might happen if Iran decided to make choices that were bad for the Iranian people, and then you saw more tactically just these last few days, the president’s response when the Iranians made a bad decision to kill an American. We hope — we hope they won’t make another bad decision just like that one.

Westlake Legal Group 07iran-briefing-sub3-videoSixteenByNine3000 Pompeo Says Iran Posed Continued Threat to the U.S.: Live Updates Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Defense and Military Forces

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, but did not provide new details about what led to the drone strike against the Iranian commander.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_135400473_22f64a81-8061-449f-a318-71d25012008e-articleLarge Pompeo Says Iran Posed Continued Threat to the U.S.: Live Updates Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Defense and Military Forces

A training session in Baghdad for Iraqi police offers led by NATO forces in 2018.Credit…Ahmed Jalil/Epa-Efe, via Shutterstock

NATO is removing some of the trainers who have been working with Iraqi soldiers battling the Islamic State, in the wake of the American killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani.

On Monday, the NATO secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, announced that training had been temporarily suspended.

Describing security of NATO personnel, the organization said in a statement that it would be taking precautions — including “the temporary repositioning of some personnel to different locations both inside and outside Iraq.’’

NATO “maintains a presence in Iraq’’ and remains committed “to fighting international terrorism,” an official said, but refused to provide “operational details’’ about troop movements.

NATO has had roughly 500 soldiers doing the training.

Some NATO countries, like Germany and Croatia, have announced that they are moving troops out of Iraq altogether, at least temporarily, because of security concerns.

Thirty of the 120 German soldiers in Iraq will be sent to Jordan and Kuwait, while others will remain positioned in the less volatile Kurdistan region, the German defense and foreign ministries said in a joint letter to the German parliament, the Bundestag.

“When the training is able to resume, the military personnel can be reinstated,” the letter said.

Croatia has also moved its small contingent of soldiers — 14 — from Iraq, with seven bound for Kuwait and the rest headed home, the Croatian Defense Ministry said. Slovakia has also removed its seven soldiers.

Some NATO troops began leaving Baghdad’s Green Zone in helicopters Monday night. The NATO training mission began in 2018 at Iraq’s request.

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Westlake Legal Group 07iran-briefing5-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Pompeo Says Iran Posed Continued Threat to the U.S.: Live Updates Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Defense and Military Forces

As Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani’s body was taken home for burial, a crush is believed to have killed dozens of mourners who crowded the streets of Kerman, Iran.CreditCredit…Atta Kenare/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In an appearance on Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not provide any new details on what prompted the killing of General Suleimani. But he said that Iran posed a threat to American lives.

Mr. Pompeo, a former C.I.A. director, said in a television appearance on Friday after the strike on General Suleimani that there had been intelligence showing an “imminent attack” on Americans and United States interests across the Middle East, which justified the deadly drone strike.

But since then, American officials have failed to provide any evidence to show what might have been targeted, or how soon an attack was expected.

“If you’re looking for imminence, you need look no further than the days that led up to the strike that was taken against Suleimani,” Mr. Pompeo told reporters at the State Department on Tuesday. “And then you, in addition to that, have what we can clearly see were continuing efforts on behalf of this terrorist to build out a network of campaign activities that were going to lead potentially to the death of many more Americans.”

Some Pentagon officials have said the intelligence did not show an imminent attack. The alerts on threat streams were not unusual, they said.

“It was the right decision, we got it right,” Mr. Pompeo said as reporters quizzed him on President Trump’s decision to carry out the attack.

Mr. Pompeo scoffed at the idea that General Suleimani was in Baghdad on a diplomatic mission and said, given his discussions with the Saudi defense minister on Monday, Riyadh also did not believe that.

“Anybody here believe that? Is there any history that would indicate it was remotely possible that this kind gentleman, this diplomat of great order, Qassim Suleimani traveled to Baghdad for the idea of conducting a peace mission?” Mr. Pompeo said sarcastically to journalists at the State Department. “I made you reporters laugh this morning, that’s fantastic.”

He added: “We’ve heard these same lies before. It is fundamentally false. He was not there on a diplomatic mission trying to resolve a problem.”

Iranian state-run news outlets reported a deadly stampede during the funeral procession for General Suleimani in his hometown, Kerman, in southeastern Iran, on Tuesday.

Millions were reported to have flooded the town’s streets to witness the procession for the general, who was killed in an American drone strike in Baghdad last week. His death has fanned smoldering tensions between the United States and Iran, and fueled fears of a broader conflict.

The crowding and subsequent stampede in Kerman led to General Suleimani’s burial being postponed, state news media reported. It is still unclear when he will be buried.

Photographs of the procession showed an elaborately decorated truck carrying General Suleimani’s coffin through streets packed densely with mourners, many wearing black and carrying pictures of the dead commander.

“Unfortunately, as a result of a stampede, some of our compatriots have been injured and some have been killed during the funeral processions,” Pirhossein Koulivand, head of the Iranian emergency medical services, told the news agency IRIB.

Fifty-six people died and 213 were injured, the broadcaster IRIB reported on its website.

Images and videos posted on social media showed the aftermath of the crush, with emergency workers and bystanders attempting to resuscitate people lying on the ground. The lifeless bodies of other victims, jackets covering their faces, could be seen nearby.

The general’s body had been flown to Kerman after a funeral in Tehran on Monday that had brought even bigger crowds into the streets of the Iranian capital.

In a fiery speech made in General Suleimani’s hometown on Tuesday, the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps vowed to “set ablaze” places where Americans and their allies live.

“We will take revenge — a revenge that will be tough, strong, decisive and finishing and will make them regret,” the corps’s leader, Hossein Salami, said on Tuesday in a front of a crowd of mourners. “We will set ablaze the place they like, and they know where it is.”

“Today, the seeds of hatred for the U.S. have been sown in the hearts of Muslims,” he added, according to Fars, an Iranian news agency associated with the Revolutionary Guards.

The pledge to seek vengeance echoed the rhetoric of many of the country’s leaders since General Suleimani’s killing on Friday. “Death to Israel,” the crowd chanted back, according to news reports. Israel, a close ally of the United States, has long been an enemy of Iran.

Thousands of mourners, dressed in black and carrying photos of General Suleimani, crowded the central square of Kerman, where the general’s body was taken for burial after a funeral procession on Monday in Tehran, the capital.

Before arriving in Kerman, the general’s remains were taken to the holy city of Qom, where thousands of residents came out, hoping for a chance to touch the coffin of a man the state has declared a martyr.

On Monday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wept and offered prayers over General Suleimani’s coffin at the enormous state funeral. The ayatollah, Iran’s supreme leader, had a close relationship with the general, who was widely considered to be the country’s second-most powerful man.

General Suleimani’s successor swore revenge during Monday’s ceremony, while chants of “Death to America” rang out from the crowds in the capital.

State-run news outlets reported that millions had gathered in Tehran, and images showed a sea of mourners, many wearing black and waving the Iranian flag.

“God the almighty has promised to get his revenge, and God is the main avenger,” said Esmail Ghaani, the Iranian general who will succeed General Suleimani as head of the Quds Force, the foreign expeditionary arm of the Revolutionary Guards. “Certainly, actions will be taken,” he added.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, said on Tuesday that he had been rejected for a visa to attend a Security Council meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York, confirming reports from American news outlets that he would be barred.

Mr. Zarif, in an interview with the Iranian news outlet Press TV, said that his office had requested a visa weeks ago to participate in the meeting on Thursday, rejecting claims by American officials that they had not had time to process the application.

“The Americans are trying to create the impression that our request to attend the meeting was put forth following the assassination of General Suleimani,” Mr. Zarif said, according to the news outlet, adding, “The question everyone needs to be asking this lawbreaking administration is: What are they so scared of?”

Mr. Zarif later posted on Twitter about the situation, taking aim at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Trump.

During a Tuesday morning news conference, Mr. Pompeo was asked about the visa but said he would not comment specifically on visa matters. He added that the United States would “comply with our obligations” under United Nations rules.

Robert C. O’Brien, the American national security adviser, was asked on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday morning about the visa.

“I don’t think Secretary Pompeo thought that this was the right time for Mr. Zarif to come to the United States, and whenever he comes to New York, he spreads propaganda,” Mr. O’Brien said.

The New York meeting plans to focus on the topic of upholding the Charter of the United Nations, and comes as Iran and the United States are engaged in a heated back-and-forth over the American drone strike last week that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani.

The office of the United Nations secretary general did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Mr. Zarif visited New York in September to attend the United Nations General Assembly, after claims that his visa had been intentionally delayed. In August, the United States announced sanctions on Mr. Zarif, a seasoned diplomat who helped negotiate the 2015 nuclear deal.

In Jerusalem and elsewhere across the Middle East, United States embassies warned Americans of potential attacks from Iran, as Iranian generals vowed to avenge the senior commander killed in an American drone strike.

In Jerusalem, the embassy told Americans on Monday to watch out for “mortars and rocket fire.” A day earlier, the United States Mission in Saudi Arabia had warned citizens to be prepared for “missile and drone attacks.”

The security alerts follow the targeted killing on Friday of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leading figure in Iran’s foreign-facing intelligence and military operations.

At General Suleimani’s funeral in Tehran on Monday, military commanders promised vengeance. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told advisers that any retaliation against the United States should be direct, proportional and carried out openly by Iran.

That is a startling departure for the Iranian leadership, which has typically cloaked its attacks behind the actions of proxies it has cultivated around the region. But in the fury generated by the killing of General Suleimani, a close ally and personal friend of the supreme leader, the ayatollah was apparently willing to cast aside those traditional cautions.

In Israel, the United States Embassy on Monday issued a security alert for the entire country and warned Americans of potential mortar and rocket attacks.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the embassy strongly encourages U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness, as security incidents, including rocket fire, often take place without warning,” the embassy said in an alert published on its website.

The United States Mission to Saudi Arabia on Sunday warned Americans in the kingdom to be aware of a “heightened risk of missile and drone attacks.”

American embassies across the region have been on heightened alert since Dec. 31, when militants, backed by the Iranian government, stormed the embassy in Baghdad. President Trump said the assault was organized by General Suleimani.

Last week, embassies in Baghdad and in Beirut, Lebanon, issued security alerts. Some airlines have halted flights to the Iraqi capital, including EgyptAir, which on Tuesday announced that its flights in and out of the city would stop from Wednesday through Friday.

The Iranian Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill declaring the American military’s top leadership to be “terrorists,” subject to Iranian sanctions, according to news reports in state media.

The bill aimed at the Pentagon’s top brass mirrored a Trump administration policy implemented in April that imposed economic and travel sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as well as organizations, companies and individuals with ties to it.

That policy represented the first time an arm of a sovereign government had been designated a terrorist organization.

The Defense Department said the killing of General Suleimani was justified in part because of the corps’s terrorist designation. General Suleimani led the Quds Force, a unit of the Revolutionary Guards that conducted intelligence-gathering and attacks outside Iran’s borders.

Parliament expedited the bill through an emergency process, according to the semiofficial Iranian news agency Tasnim.

Also on Tuesday, Parliament allocated $223 million to the Quds Force to “avenge” General Suleimani’s death, according to Fars, the state news agency.

An official letter from the Defense Department informing Iraq that American troops were “repositioning forces” for “movement out of Iraq” produced headlines around the world saying that an American withdrawal had begun.

But the letter, drafted by the United States military command in Baghdad, was sent out by mistake. The furor it caused prompted Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, to call an urgent news conference to deny the reports.

“It was an honest mistake,” General Milley told reporters at the Pentagon. “That letter is a draft, it was a mistake, it was unsigned, it should not have been released.”

“There’s been no decision made to leave Iraq, period,” Mr. Esper said. “There is no decision to leave, nor did we issue any plans to leave.”

General Milley said military officials had begun making arrangements for a withdrawal in the event that a decision is made to pull out. The Iraqi Parliament voted on Sunday to expel American troops from the country, amid anger over the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani on Iraqi soil. But Iraq has not formally notified the United States that it must leave.

General Milley said the military was “moving forces around” to consolidate positions. Not only were they not withdrawing, he said, but more forces were arriving from Kuwait.

Mark T. Esper, the secretary of defense, said striking Iranian cultural sites with no military value would be a war crime, putting him at odds with President Trump, who has insisted that such places would be legitimate targets. The president’s threats generated condemnation at home and abroad while deeply discomfiting American military leaders who have made a career of upholding the laws of war.

“We will follow the laws of armed conflict,” the defense secretary said at a news briefing at the Pentagon on Monday when asked if cultural sites would be targeted, as the president had suggested over the weekend. When a reporter asked if that meant “no” because the laws of war prohibit targeting cultural sites, Mr. Esper agreed: “That’s the laws of armed conflict.”

The furor over the threat to Iranian antiquities was a classic controversy of Mr. Trump’s own creation, the apparent result of an impulsive threat and his refusal to back down in the face of criticism. While Mr. Trump declared on Saturday that the United States had identified 52 potential targets in Iran, none of them qualified as cultural sites, according to an administration official who asked not to be identified correcting the president.

Audrey Azoulay, the director-general of UNESCO, met with the Iranian ambassador to the organization on Monday to discuss the current situation, and issued a statement pointing to international agreements that condemn acts of destruction of cultural heritage.

“Ms. Azoulay stressed the universality of cultural and natural heritage as vectors of peace and dialogue between peoples, which the international community has a duty to protect and preserve for future generations,” UNESCO said in the statement.

Reporting was contributed by Megan Specia, Russell Goldman, Farnaz Fassihi, David D. Kirkpatrick, Melissa Eddy, Edward Wong, Lara Jakes, Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman, Alissa J. Rubin, Ben Hubbard, Mark Landler, Helene Cooper and Thomas Gibbons-Neff.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Live Updates: Pompeo Says Killing Suleimani Was ‘the Right Decision’

Here are the latest developments:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166790505_a258ccea-48ab-441f-8fba-a39a14565ec0-articleLarge Live Updates: Pompeo Says Killing Suleimani Was ‘the Right Decision’ Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Defense and Military Forces

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a press briefing at the State Department on Tuesday.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday addressed some of the many questions surrounding the American airstrike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani and a number of other people traveling with him.

“It was the right decision, we got it right,” Mr. Pompeo said as reporters quizzed him about President Trump’s decision to carry out the attack on Friday. General Suleimani posed an immediate threat, according to Mr. Pompeo, who cited the death of an American contractor in a rocket attack several days earlier as proof.

Mr. Pompeo also defended the broader “maximum pressure” campaign that President Trump has vowed to carry out against Iran, saying that the strategy had diplomatic, economic and military components. He added that the president had been “unambiguous” in the remarks he made following the attacks.

“In the event that the Iranians make another bad choice, the president will respond in the way he did last week,” he said.

Mr. Pompeo also rejected the idea that General Suleimani had been visiting Iraq “on a diplomatic peace mission.” That suggestion was “fundamentally false,” he said.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 07iran-briefing5-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Live Updates: Pompeo Says Killing Suleimani Was ‘the Right Decision’ Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Defense and Military Forces

As Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani’s body was taken home for burial, a crush is believed to have killed dozens of mourners who crowded the streets of Kerman, Iran.CreditCredit…Atta Kenare/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Iranian state-run news outlets reported a deadly stampede during the funeral procession for Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani in his hometown, Kerman, in southeastern Iran, on Tuesday.

Millions were reported to have flooded the town’s streets to witness the procession for the general, who was killed in an American drone strike in Baghdad last week. His death has fanned smoldering tensions between the United States and Iran, and fueled fears of a broader conflict.

The crowding and subsequent stampede in Kerman led to General Suleimani’s burial being postponed, state news media reported. It is still unclear when he will be buried.

Photographs of the procession showed an elaborately decorated truck carrying General Suleimani’s coffin through streets packed densely with mourners, many wearing black and carrying pictures of the dead commander.

“Unfortunately, as a result of a stampede, some of our compatriots have been injured and some have been killed during the funeral processions,” Pirhossein Koulivand, head of the Iranian emergency medical services, told the news agency IRIB.

He later told the news agency Fars, an outlet associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran, that 40 people had been killed and another 213 injured.

Images and videos posted on social media showed the aftermath of the crush, with emergency workers and bystanders attempting to resuscitate people lying on the ground. The lifeless bodies of other victims, jackets covering their faces, could be seen nearby.

The general’s body had been flown to Kerman after a funeral in Tehran on Monday that had brought even bigger crowds into the streets of the Iranian capital.

In a fiery speech made in Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani’s hometown on Tuesday, the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps vowed to “set ablaze” places where Americans and their allies live.

“We will take revenge — a revenge that will be tough, strong, decisive and finishing and will make them regret,” the corps’s leader, Hossein Salami, said on Tuesday in a front of a crowd of mourners. “We will set ablaze the place they like, and they know where it is.”

“Today, the seeds of hatred for the U.S. have been sown in the hearts of Muslims,” he added, according to Fars, an Iranian news agency associated with the Revolutionary Guards.

The pledge to seek vengeance echoed the rhetoric of many of the country’s leaders since General Suleimani’s killing on Friday. “Death to Israel,” the crowd chanted back, according to news reports. Israel, a close ally of the United States, has long been an enemy of Iran.

Thousands of mourners, dressed in black and carrying photos of General Suleimani, crowded the central square of Kerman, where the general’s body was taken for burial after a funeral procession on Monday in Tehran, the capital.

Before arriving in Kerman, the general’s remains were taken to the holy city of Qom, where thousands of residents came out, hoping for a chance to touch the coffin of a man the state has declared a martyr.

On Monday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wept and offered prayers over General Suleimani’s coffin at the enormous state funeral. The ayatollah, Iran’s supreme leader, had a close relationship with the general, who was widely considered to be the country’s second-most powerful man.

General Suleimani’s successor swore revenge during Monday’s ceremony, while chants of “Death to America” rang out from the crowds in the capital.

State-run news outlets reported that millions had gathered in Tehran, and images showed a sea of mourners, many wearing black and waving the Iranian flag.

“God the almighty has promised to get his revenge, and God is the main avenger,” said Esmail Ghaani, the Iranian general who will succeed General Suleimani as head of the Quds Force, the foreign expeditionary arm of the Revolutionary Guards. “Certainly, actions will be taken,” he added.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, said on Tuesday that he had been rejected for a visa to attend a Security Council meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York, confirming reports from American news outlets that he would be barred.

Mr. Zarif, in an interview with the Iranian news outlet Press TV, said that his office had requested a visa weeks ago to participate in the meeting on Thursday, rejecting claims by American officials that they had not had time to process the application.

“The Americans are trying to create the impression that our request to attend the meeting was put forth following the assassination of General Suleimani,” Mr. Zarif said, according to the news outlet, adding, “The question everyone needs to be asking this lawbreaking administration is: What are they so scared of?”

Mr. Zarif later posted on Twitter about the situation, taking aim at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Trump.

During a Tuesday morning news conference, Mr. Pompeo was asked about the visa but said he would not comment specifically on visa matters. He added that the United States would “comply with our obligations” under United Nations rules.

Robert C. O’Brien, the American national security adviser, was asked on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday morning about the visa.

“I don’t think Secretary Pompeo thought that this was the right time for Mr. Zarif to come to the United States, and whenever he comes to New York, he spreads propaganda,” Mr. O’Brien said.

The New York meeting plans to focus on the topic of upholding the Charter of the United Nations, and comes as Iran and the United States are engaged in a heated back-and-forth over the American drone strike last week that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani.

The office of the United Nations secretary general did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Mr. Zarif visited New York in September to attend the United Nations General Assembly, after claims that his visa had been intentionally delayed. In August, the United States announced sanctions on Mr. Zarif, a seasoned diplomat who helped negotiate the 2015 nuclear deal.

In Jerusalem and elsewhere across the Middle East, United States embassies warned Americans of potential attacks from Iran, as Iranian generals vowed to avenge the senior commander killed in an American drone strike.

In Jerusalem, the embassy told Americans on Monday to watch out for “mortars and rocket fire.” A day earlier, the United States Mission in Saudi Arabia had warned citizens to be prepared for “missile and drone attacks.”

The security alerts follow the targeted killing on Friday of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leading figure in Iran’s foreign-facing intelligence and military operations.

At General Suleimani’s funeral in Tehran on Monday, military commanders promised vengeance. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told advisers that any retaliation against the United States should be direct, proportional and carried out openly by Iran.

That is a startling departure for the Iranian leadership, which has typically cloaked its attacks behind the actions of proxies it has cultivated around the region. But in the fury generated by the killing of General Suleimani, a close ally and personal friend of the supreme leader, the ayatollah was apparently willing to cast aside those traditional cautions.

In Israel, the United States Embassy on Monday issued a security alert for the entire country and warned Americans of potential mortar and rocket attacks.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the embassy strongly encourages U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness, as security incidents, including rocket fire, often take place without warning,” the embassy said in an alert published on its website.

The United States Mission to Saudi Arabia on Sunday warned Americans in the kingdom to be aware of a “heightened risk of missile and drone attacks.”

American embassies across the region have been on heightened alert since Dec. 31, when militants, backed by the Iranian government, stormed the embassy in Baghdad. President Trump said the assault was organized by General Suleimani.

Last week, embassies in Baghdad and in Beirut, Lebanon, issued security alerts. Some airlines have halted flights to the Iraqi capital, including EgyptAir, which on Tuesday announced that its flights in and out of the city would stop from Wednesday through Friday.

The Iranian Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill declaring the American military’s top leadership to be “terrorists,” subject to Iranian sanctions, according to news reports in state media.

The bill aimed at the Pentagon’s top brass mirrored a Trump administration policy implemented in April that imposed economic and travel sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as well as organizations, companies and individuals with ties to it.

That policy represented the first time an arm of a sovereign government had been designated a terrorist organization.

The Defense Department said the killing of General Suleimani was justified in part because of the corps’s terrorist designation. General Suleimani led the Quds Force, a unit of the Revolutionary Guards that conducted intelligence-gathering and attacks outside Iran’s borders.

Parliament expedited the bill through an emergency process, according to the semiofficial Iranian news agency Tasnim.

Also on Tuesday, Parliament allocated $223 million to the Quds Force to “avenge” General Suleimani’s death, according to Fars, the state news agency.

An official letter from the Defense Department informing Iraq that American troops were “repositioning forces” for “movement out of Iraq” produced headlines around the world saying that an American withdrawal had begun.

But the letter, drafted by the United States military command in Baghdad, was sent out by mistake. The furor it caused prompted Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, to call an urgent news conference to deny the reports.

“It was an honest mistake,” General Milley told reporters at the Pentagon. “That letter is a draft, it was a mistake, it was unsigned, it should not have been released.”

“There’s been no decision made to leave Iraq, period,” Mr. Esper said. “There is no decision to leave, nor did we issue any plans to leave.”

General Milley said military officials had begun making arrangements for a withdrawal in the event that a decision is made to pull out. The Iraqi Parliament voted on Sunday to expel American troops from the country, amid anger over the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani on Iraqi soil. But Iraq has not formally notified the United States that it must leave.

General Milley said the military was “moving forces around” to consolidate positions. Not only were they not withdrawing, he said, but more forces were arriving from Kuwait.

Mark T. Esper, the secretary of defense, said striking Iranian cultural sites with no military value would be a war crime, putting him at odds with President Trump, who has insisted that such places would be legitimate targets. The president’s threats generated condemnation at home and abroad while deeply discomfiting American military leaders who have made a career of upholding the laws of war.

“We will follow the laws of armed conflict,” the defense secretary said at a news briefing at the Pentagon on Monday when asked if cultural sites would be targeted, as the president had suggested over the weekend. When a reporter asked if that meant “no” because the laws of war prohibit targeting cultural sites, Mr. Esper agreed: “That’s the laws of armed conflict.”

The furor over the threat to Iranian antiquities was a classic controversy of Mr. Trump’s own creation, the apparent result of an impulsive threat and his refusal to back down in the face of criticism. While Mr. Trump declared on Saturday that the United States had identified 52 potential targets in Iran, none of them qualified as cultural sites, according to an administration official who asked not to be identified correcting the president.

Audrey Azoulay, the director-general of UNESCO, met with the Iranian ambassador to the organization on Monday to discuss the current situation, and issued a statement pointing to international agreements that condemn acts of destruction of cultural heritage.

“Ms. Azoulay stressed the universality of cultural and natural heritage as vectors of peace and dialogue between peoples, which the international community has a duty to protect and preserve for future generations,” UNESCO said in the statement.

Germany announced on Tuesday that it would pull a contingent of its troops out of Iraq, given “recent developments.”

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the German defense minister, said over the weekend that about 120 soldiers taking part in the international coalition to defeat the Islamic State would be confined to their bases but would remain in the region.

On Sunday, the German Army’s inspector general decided that a planned rotation of troops to forward bases in Iraq would not be taking place, the Defense Ministry said on Twitter.

But another contingent of several dozen German soldiers normally stationed in Baghdad and in another Iraqi city, Taji, as part of a training mission were being pulled out, Roderick Kiesewetter, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament, told the public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk on Tuesday.

“It is just a temporary reduction,” he said. “That means about 30 to 40 troops will be moved to Jordan, where we have reconnaissance jets and tankers. So our soldiers remain in the region.”

Reporting was contributed by Megan Specia, Russell Goldman, Farnaz Fassihi, David D. Kirkpatrick, Melissa Eddy, Edward Wong, Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman, Alissa J. Rubin, Ben Hubbard, Mark Landler, Helene Cooper and Thomas Gibbons-Neff.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Live Updates: Deadly Stampede at Funeral Procession for Iranian General

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166777353_12391b28-a36e-4d8f-af89-55ce37794e66-articleLarge Live Updates: Deadly Stampede at Funeral Procession for Iranian General Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Defense and Military Forces

Mourners gathered around a vehicle carrying the coffin of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani in Kerman, his hometown, on Tuesday.Credit…Atta Kenare/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Iranian state-run news outlets reported a deadly stampede during the funeral procession for Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani in his hometown, Kerman, in southeastern Iran, on Tuesday.

Millions were reported to have flooded the town’s streets to witness the procession for the general, who was killed in an American drone strike in Baghdad last week. His death has fanned smoldering tensions between the United States and Iran, and fueled fears of a broader conflict.

The crowding and subsequent stampede in Kerman led to General Suleimani’s final burial being postponed, state news media reported. It is still unclear when he will be buried.

Photographs of the procession showed an elaborately decorated truck carrying General Suleimani’s coffin through streets packed densely with mourners, many wearing black and carrying pictures of the dead commander.

“Unfortunately, as a result of a stampede, some of our compatriots have been injured and some have been killed during the funeral processions,” Pirhossein Koulivand, head of the Iranian emergency medical services, told the news agency IRIB.

He later told the news agency Fars, an outlet associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran, that 40 people had been killed and another 213 injured.

Images and videos posted on social media showed the aftermath of the crush, with emergency workers and bystanders attempting to resuscitate people lying on the ground. The lifeless bodies of other victims, jackets covering their faces, could be seen nearby.

The general’s body had been flown to Kerman after a funeral in Tehran on Monday that had brought even bigger crowds into the streets of the Iranian capital.

In a fiery speech made moments before Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani was buried in his hometown, the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps vowed to “set ablaze” places where Americans and their allies live.

“We will take revenge; a revenge that will be tough, strong, decisive and finishing and will make them regret,” the paramilitary group’s leader, Hossein Salami, said Tuesday in a front of a crowd of mourners. “We will set ablaze the place they like, and they know where it is.”

“Today, the seeds of hatred for the U.S. have been sown in the hearts of Muslims,” he said, according to Fars, an Iranian news agency associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The pledge to seek vengeance echoed the rhetoric of many of the country’s leaders since General Suleimani’s killing on Friday. “Death to Israel,” the crowd chanted back, according to news reports. Israel, a close ally of the United States, has long been an enemy of Iran.

Thousands of mourners, dressed in black and carrying photos of General Suleimani, crowded the central square of Kerman, where the general’s body was taken for burial after a funeral procession Monday in Tehran, the capital.

Before arriving in Kerman, the general’s remains were taken to the holy city of Qom, where thousands of residents came out, hoping for a chance to touch the coffin of a man the state has declared a martyr.

On Monday, Ayatollah Khamenei wept and offered prayers over General Suleimani’s coffin at the massive state funeral. The ayatollah had a close relationship with the general, who was widely considered to be the second most powerful man in Iran.

General Suleimani’s successor swore revenge during Monday’s ceremony, while chants of “Death to America” rang out from the crowds in the capital.

State-run news outlets reported that millions had gathered in Tehran, and images showed a sea of mourners, many wearing black and waving the Iranian flag.

“God the almighty has promised to get his revenge, and God is the main avenger,” said Esmail Ghaani, the Iranian general who will succeed General Suleimani as head of the Quds Force, the foreign expeditionary arm of the Revolutionary Guards Corps. “Certainly, actions will be taken,” he added.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, said on Tuesday that he had been rejected for a visa to attend a Security Council meeting to be held at the United Nations headquarters in New York, confirming reports from American news outlets that he would be barred.

Mr. Zarif, in an interview with the Iranian news outlet Press TV, said that his office had requested a visa weeks ago to participate in the meeting on Thursday, rejecting claims by American officials that they had not had time to process the application.

“The Americans are trying to create the impression that our request to attend the meeting was put forth following the assassination of General Suleimani,” Mr. Zarif said, according to the news outlet, adding, “The question everyone needs to be asking this lawbreaking administration is: What are they so scared of?”

Mr. Zarif later posted on Twitter about the situation, taking aim at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Trump.

Robert C. O’Brien, the national security adviser, was asked on Fox & Friends on Tuesday morning about why Mr. Zarif’s visa was denied.

“I don’t think Secretary Pompeo thought that this was the right time for Mr. Zarif to come to the United States, and whenever he comes to New York, he spreads propaganda,” Mr. O’Brien said.

The New York meeting plans to focus on the topic of upholding the Charter of the United Nations, and comes as Iran and the United States are engaged in a heated back-and-forth over the American drone strike last week that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani.

Neither the office of the United Nations secretary general nor the State Department replied immediately to requests for comment.

Mr. Zarif visited New York in September to attend the United Nations General Assembly, after claims that his visa had been intentionally delayed. In August, the United States announced sanctions on Mr. Zarif, a seasoned diplomat who helped negotiate the 2015 nuclear deal.

In Jerusalem and elsewhere across the Middle East, United States embassies warned Americans of potential attacks from Iran, as Iranian generals vowed to avenge the senior commander killed in an American drone strike.

In Jerusalem, the embassy told Americans on Monday to watch out for “mortars and rocket fire.” A day earlier, the United States Mission in Saudi Arabia had warned citizens to be prepared for “missile and drone attacks.”

The security alerts follow the targeted killing on Friday of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leading figure in Iran’s foreign-facing intelligence and military operations.

At General Suleimani’s funeral in Tehran on Monday, military commanders promised vengeance. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told advisers that any retaliation against the United States should be direct, proportional and carried out openly by Iran.

That is a startling departure for the Iranian leadership, which has typically cloaked its attacks behind the actions of proxies it has cultivated around the region. But in the fury generated by the killing of General Suleimani, a close ally and personal friend of the supreme leader, the ayatollah was apparently willing to cast aside those traditional cautions.

In Israel, the United States Embassy on Monday issued a security alert for the entire country and warned Americans of potential mortar and rocket attacks.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the Embassy strongly encourages U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness, as security incidents, including rocket fire, often take place without warning,” the embassy said in an alert published on its website.

The United States Mission to Saudi Arabia on Sunday warned Americans in the kingdom to be aware of a “heightened risk of missile and drone attacks.”

American embassies across the region have been on heightened alert since Dec. 31, when militants, backed by the Iranian government, stormed the embassy in Baghdad. President Trump said the assault was organized by General Suleimani.

Last week, embassies in Beirut, Lebanon, and Baghdad issued security alerts.

The Iranian Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill declaring the American military’s top leadership to be “terrorists,” subject to Iranian sanctions, according to news reports in state media.

The bill aimed at the Pentagon’s top brass mirrored a Trump administration policy implemented in April that imposed economic and travel sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as well as organizations, companies and individuals with ties to it.

That policy represented the first time an arm of a sovereign government had been designated a terrorist organization.

The Defense Department justified the killing of General Suleimani in part because of the Guards Corps’ terrorist designation. General Suleimani led the paramilitary organization’s Quds Force, which conducted intelligence-gathering and attacks outside of Iran’s borders.

Parliament expedited the bill through an emergency process, according to the semiofficial Tasnim News Agency.

Also on Tuesday, Parliament allocated $223 million to the Quds Force to “avenge” General Suleimani’s death, according to Fars, the state news agency.

Mark T. Esper, the secretary of defense, said striking Iranian cultural sites with no military value would be a war crime, putting him at odds with President Trump, who has insisted that such places would be legitimate targets. The president’s threats generated condemnation at home and abroad while deeply discomfiting American military leaders who have made a career of upholding the laws of war.

“We will follow the laws of armed conflict,” the defense secretary said at a news briefing at the Pentagon on Monday when asked if cultural sites would be targeted, as the president had suggested over the weekend. When a reporter asked if that meant “no” because the laws of war prohibit targeting cultural sites, Mr. Esper agreed: “That’s the laws of armed conflict.”

The furor over the threat to Iranian antiquities was a classic controversy of Mr. Trump’s own creation, the apparent result of an impulsive threat and his refusal to back down in the face of criticism. While Mr. Trump declared on Saturday that the United States had identified 52 potential targets in Iran, none of them qualified as cultural sites, according to an administration official who asked not to be identified correcting the president.

Audrey Azoulay, the director-general of UNESCO, met with the Iranian ambassador to the organization on Monday to discuss the current situation, and issued a statement pointing to international agreements that condemn acts of destruction of cultural heritage.

“Ms. Azoulay stressed the universality of cultural and natural heritage as vectors of peace and dialogue between peoples, which the international community has a duty to protect and preserve for future generations,” UNESCO said in the statement.

Germany announced on Tuesday that it would pull a contingent of its troops out of Iraq, given “recent developments.”

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the German defense minister, said over the weekend that about 120 soldiers taking part in the international coalition to defeat the Islamic State would be confined to their bases but would remain in the region.

On Sunday, the German Army’s inspector general decided that a planned rotation of troops to forward bases in Iraq would not be taking place, the Defense Ministry said on Twitter.

But another contingent of several dozen German soldiers normally stationed in Baghdad and in another Iraqi city, Taji, as part of a training mission were being pulled out, Roderick Kiesewetter, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament, told the public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk on Tuesday.

“It is just a temporary reduction,” he said. “That means about 30 to 40 troops will be moved to Jordan, where we have reconnaissance jets and tankers. So our soldiers remain in the region.”

Reporting was contributed by Megan Specia, Russell Goldman, Farnaz Fassihi, David D. Kirkpatrick, Melissa Eddy, Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman, Alissa J. Rubin, Ben Hubbard, Mark Landler, Helene Cooper and Thomas Gibbons-Neff.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Deadly Stampede at Funeral Procession for Iranian General: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166777353_12391b28-a36e-4d8f-af89-55ce37794e66-articleLarge Deadly Stampede at Funeral Procession for Iranian General: Live Updates Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Defense and Military Forces

Mourners gathered around a vehicle carrying the coffin of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani in Kerman, his hometown, on Tuesday.Credit…Atta Kenare/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Iranian state-run news outlets reported a deadly stampede during the funeral procession for Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani in his hometown, Kerman, in southeastern Iran, on Tuesday.

Millions were reported to have flooded the town’s streets to witness the procession for the general, who was killed in an American drone strike in Baghdad last week. His death has fanned smoldering tensions between the United States and Iran, and fueled fears of a broader conflict.

Pirhossein Koulivand, head of the Iranian emergency medical services, did not immediately detail the number of victims, according to several of the outlets, but at least 35 people may have been killed, one news service reported, according to The Associated Press.

Images and videos posted on social media showed the aftermath of the crush, with emergency workers and bystanders attempting to resuscitate people lying on the ground. The lifeless bodies of other victims, jackets covering their faces, could be seen nearby.

The general’s body had been flown to Kerman after a funeral in Tehran on Monday that had brought even bigger crowds into the streets of the Iranian capital.

In a fiery speech made moments before Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani was buried in his hometown, the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps vowed to “set ablaze” places where Americans and their allies live.

“We will take revenge; a revenge that will be tough, strong, decisive and finishing and will make them regret,” the paramilitary group’s leader, Hossein Salami, said Tuesday in a front of a crowd of mourners. “We will set ablaze the place they like, and they know where it is.”

“Today, the seeds of hatred for the U.S. have been sown in the hearts of Muslims,” he said, according to Fars, the state news agency.

The pledge to seek vengeance echoed the rhetoric of many of the country’s leaders since General Suleimani’s killing on Friday. “Death to Israel,” the crowd chanted back, according to news reports. Israel, a close ally of the United States, has long been an enemy of Iran.

Thousands of mourners, dressed in black and carrying photos of General Suleimani, crowded the central square of Kerman, where the general’s body was taken for burial after a funeral procession Monday in Tehran, the capital.

Before arriving in Kerman, the general’s remains were taken to the holy city of Qom, where thousands of residents came out, hoping for a chance to touch the coffin of a man the state has declared a martyr.

On Monday, Ayatollah Khamenei wept and offered prayers over General Suleimani’s coffin at the massive state funeral. The ayatollah had a close relationship with the general, who was widely considered to be the second most powerful man in Iran.

General Suleimani’s successor swore revenge during Monday’s ceremony, while chants of “Death to America” rang out from the crowds in the capital.

State-run news outlets reported that millions had gathered in Tehran, and images showed a sea of mourners, many wearing black and waving the Iranian flag.

“God the almighty has promised to get his revenge, and God is the main avenger,” said Esmail Ghaani, the Iranian general who will succeed General Suleimani as head of the Quds Force, the foreign expeditionary arm of the Revolutionary Guards Corps. “Certainly, actions will be taken,” he added.

In Jerusalem and elsewhere across the Middle East, United States embassies warned Americans of potential attacks from Iran, as Iranian generals vowed to avenge the senior commander killed in an American drone strike.

In Jerusalem, the embassy told Americans on Monday to watch out for “mortars and rocket fire.” A day earlier, the United States Mission in Saudi Arabia had warned citizens to be prepared for “missile and drone attacks.”

The security alerts follow the targeted killing on Friday of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leading figure in Iran’s foreign-facing intelligence and military operations.

At General Suleimani’s funeral in Tehran on Monday, military commanders promised vengeance. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told advisers that any retaliation against the United States should be direct, proportional and carried out openly by Iran.

That is a startling departure for the Iranian leadership, which has typically cloaked its attacks behind the actions of proxies it has cultivated around the region. But in the fury generated by the killing of General Suleimani, a close ally and personal friend of the supreme leader, the ayatollah was apparently willing to cast aside those traditional cautions.

In Israel, the United States Embassy on Monday issued a security alert for the entire country and warned Americans of potential mortar and rocket attacks.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the Embassy strongly encourages U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness, as security incidents, including rocket fire, often take place without warning,” the embassy said in an alert published on its website.

The United States Mission to Saudi Arabia on Sunday warned Americans in the kingdom to be aware of a “heightened risk of missile and drone attacks.”

American embassies across the region have been on heightened alert since Dec. 31, when militants, backed by the Iranian government, stormed the embassy in Baghdad. President Trump said the assault was organized by General Suleimani.

Last week, embassies in Beirut, Lebanon, and Baghdad issued security alerts.

The Iranian Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill declaring the American military’s top leadership to be “terrorists,” subject to Iranian sanctions, according to news reports in state media.

The bill aimed at the Pentagon’s top brass mirrored a Trump administration policy implemented in April that imposed economic and travel sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as well as organizations, companies and individuals with ties to it.

That policy represented the first time an arm of a sovereign government had been designated a terrorist organization.

The Defense Department justified the killing of General Suleimani in part because of the Guards Corps’ terrorist designation. General Suleimani led the paramilitary organization’s Quds Force, which conducted intelligence-gathering and attacks outside of Iran’s borders.

Parliament expedited the bill through an emergency process, according to the semi-official Tasnim News Agency.

Also on Tuesday, Parliament allocated $223 million to the Quds Force to “avenge” General Suleimani’s death, according to Fars, the state news agency.

Mark T. Esper, the secretary of defense, said striking Iranian cultural sites with no military value would be a war crime, putting him at odds with President Trump, who has insisted that such places would be legitimate targets. The president’s threats generated condemnation at home and abroad while deeply discomfiting American military leaders who have made a career of upholding the laws of war.

“We will follow the laws of armed conflict,” the defense secretary said at a news briefing at the Pentagon on Monday when asked if cultural sites would be targeted, as the president had suggested over the weekend. When a reporter asked if that meant “no” because the laws of war prohibit targeting cultural sites, Mr. Esper agreed: “That’s the laws of armed conflict.”

The furor over the threat to Iranian antiquities was a classic controversy of Mr. Trump’s own creation, the apparent result of an impulsive threat and his refusal to back down in the face of criticism. While Mr. Trump declared on Saturday that the United States had identified 52 potential targets in Iran, none of them qualified as cultural sites, according to an administration official who asked not to be identified correcting the president.

Audrey Azoulay, the director-general of UNESCO, met with the Iranian ambassador to the organization on Monday to discuss the current situation, and issued a statement pointing to international agreements that condemn acts of destruction of cultural heritage.

“Ms. Azoulay stressed the universality of cultural and natural heritage as vectors of peace and dialogue between peoples, which the international community has a duty to protect and preserve for future generations,” UNESCO said in the statement.

Reporting was contributed by Megan Specia, Russell Goldman, Farnaz Fassihi, David D. Kirkpatrick, Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman, Alissa J. Rubin, Ben Hubbard, Mark Landler, Helene Cooper and Thomas Gibbons-Neff.

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Iranian Military Leader Vows ‘Decisive’ Revenge: Live Updates

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166737801_b1b61895-e4e3-46f5-9565-afe71bcd95cd-articleLarge Iranian Military Leader Vows ‘Decisive’ Revenge: Live Updates Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Defense and Military Forces

Iranians set fire to American and Israeli flags on Monday during the funeral procession for Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani in Tehran.Credit…Atta Kenare/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Here’s what you need to know:

In Jerusalem and elsewhere across the Middle East, United States embassies warned Americans of potential attacks from Iran, as Iranian generals vowed to avenge the senior commander killed in an American drone strike.

In Jerusalem, the embassy told Americans on Monday to watch out for “mortars and rocket fire.” A day earlier, the United States Mission in Saudi Arabia had warned citizens to be prepared for “missile and drone attacks.”

The security alerts follow the targeted killing on Friday of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leading figure in Iran’s foreign-facing intelligence and military operations.

At General Suleimani’s funeral in Tehran on Monday, military commanders promised vengeance. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told advisers that any retaliation against the United States should be direct, proportional and carried out openly by Iran.

That is a startling departure for the Iranian leadership, which has typically cloaked its attacks behind the actions of proxies it has cultivated around the region. But in the fury generated by the killing of General Suleimani, a close ally and personal friend of the supreme leader, the ayatollah was apparently willing to cast aside those traditional cautions.

In Israel, the United States Embassy on Monday issued a security alert for the entire country and warned Americans of potential mortar and rocket attacks.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the Embassy strongly encourages U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness, as security incidents, including rocket fire, often take place without warning,” the embassy said in an alert published on its website.

The United States Mission to Saudi Arabia on Sunday warned Americans in the kingdom to be aware of a “heightened risk of missile and drone attacks.”

American embassies across the region have been on heightened alert since Dec. 31, when militants, backed by the Iranian government, stormed the embassy in Baghdad. President Trump said the assault was organized by General Suleimani.

Last week, embassies in Beirut, Lebanon, and Baghdad issued security alerts.

In a fiery speech made moments before General Suleimani was buried in Kerman, his hometown, the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps vowed to “set ablaze” places where Americans and their allies live.

“We will take revenge; a revenge that will be tough, strong, decisive and finishing and will make them regret,” the paramilitary group’s leader, Hossein Salami, said Tuesday in a front of a crowd of mourners. “We will set ablaze the place they like, and they know where it is.”

“Today, the seeds of hatred for the U.S. have been sown in the hearts of Muslims,” he said, according to Fars, the state news agency.

The pledge to seek vengeance echoed the rhetoric of many of the country’s leaders since General Suleimani’s killing on Friday. “Death to Israel,” the crowd chanted back, according to news reports. Israel, a close ally of the United States, has long been an enemy of Iran.

Thousands of mourners, dressed in black and carrying photos of General Suleimani, crowded the central square of Kerman, where the general’s body was taken for burial after a funeral procession Monday in Tehran, the capital.

Before arriving in Kerman, the general’s remains were taken to the holy city of Qom, where thousands of residents came out, hoping for a chance to touch the coffin of a man the state has declared a martyr.

On Monday, Ayatollah Khamenei wept and offered prayers over General Suleimani’s coffin at the massive state funeral. The ayatollah had a close relationship with the general, who was widely considered to be the second most powerful man in Iran.

General Suleimani’s successor swore revenge during Monday’s ceremony, while chants of “Death to America” rang out from the crowds in the capital.

State-run news outlets reported that millions had gathered in Tehran, and images showed a sea of mourners, many wearing black and waving the Iranian flag.

“God the almighty has promised to get his revenge, and God is the main avenger,” said Esmail Ghaani, the Iranian general who will succeed General Suleimani as head of the Quds Force, the foreign expeditionary arm of the Revolutionary Guards Corps. “Certainly, actions will be taken,” he added.

The Iranian Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill declaring the American military’s top leadership to be “terrorists,” subject to Iranian sanctions, according to news reports in state media.

The bill aimed at the Pentagon’s top brass mirrored a Trump administration policy implemented in April that imposed economic and travel sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as well as organizations, companies and individuals with ties to it.

That policy represented the first time an arm of a sovereign government had been designated a terrorist organization.

The Defense Department justified the killing of General Suleimani in part because of the Guards Corps’ terrorist designation. General Suleimani led the paramilitary organization’s Quds Force, which conducted intelligence-gathering and attacks outside of Iran’s borders.

Parliament expedited the bill through an emergency process, according to the semi-official Tasnim News Agency.

Also on Tuesday, Parliament allocated $223 million to the Quds Force to “avenge” General Suleimani’s death, according to Fars, the state news agency.

Reporting was contributed by Russell Goldman, Farnaz Fassihi, David D. Kirkpatrick, Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman, Alissa J. Rubin, Ben Hubbard, Mark Landler, Helene Cooper and Thomas Gibbons-Neff

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com