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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 94)

Iran and Presidential War Powers, Explained

Westlake Legal Group merlin_166747266_afcc5eb8-984f-426a-98fa-d7d0340c657e-facebookJumbo Iran and Presidential War Powers, Explained War Powers Act (1973) War Crimes, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity War and Emergency Powers (US) United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Presidents and Presidency (US) Law and Legislation Iraq Iran Executive Orders and Memorandums Defense Department Defense and Military Forces Constitution (US)

WASHINGTON — Democratic leaders in Congress are moving to swiftly invoke the War Powers Resolution in an attempt to block President Trump from taking the United States into a war with Iran, even as Iran vows revenge for his killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani and Mr. Trump is threatening disproportionate strikes inside Iran if it does retaliate.

But Congress’s control over decisions about going to war has been eroding for generations, and administrations of both parties have established precedents that undercut the resolution as a meaningful check on presidential war-making authority.

Here is an explanation of the legal issues raised by the rapidly evolving crisis.

It is a law Congress enacted in 1973 — overriding President Richard M. Nixon’s veto — in an attempt to regain control over war decisions that had eroded during the Cold War.

Although the Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war, the United States military kept a large standing force deployed around the world as World War II gave way to the Cold War. Presidents, invoking their role as commander in chief, had directed those forces to launch or escalate wars, including in Korea and Vietnam.

One part says presidents may only introduce forces into hostilities after Congress has authorized using force or if the nation has been attacked. No subsequent president has respected that narrow list of when he may unilaterally dispatch forces into combat.

Another part requires presidents to consult with Congress before deploying troops into actual or imminent “hostilities.” Most presidents have obeyed this, but Mr. Trump did not before ordering the Suleimani strike.

Yet another part — important here — says if a president deploys combat troops without authorization, the deployment must end after 60 days unless lawmakers approve it in the interim. It also empowers Congress to direct the president to terminate the operation before that deadline.

They are trying to use the War Powers Resolution to block a war with Iran.

Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, has already proposed a joint resolution to do so, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday that the House would act this week on a similar measure. The House version’s sponsor will be Representative Elissa Slotkin, Democrat of Michigan and a former C.I.A. and Pentagon analyst specializing in Shiite militias.

Mr. Kaine’s resolution declares that Mr. Trump has already introduced American armed forces into hostilities with Iran without congressional authorization and directs him to stop within 30 days of its enactment.

There are reasons to be doubtful.

Even if such a resolution passes both chambers, it seems inevitable that Mr. Trump would veto it. Overriding that veto would require a two-thirds majority in both chambers, which would require significant numbers of Republicans to break with him.

Last year, majorities in both chambers tried to use the War Powers Resolution to force Mr. Trump to end American support for Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen’s civil war. But Mr. Trump vetoed it, and an override vote in the Senate failed 53 to 45, with only seven Republicans joining Democrats in challenging the president.

That is debatable.

Mr. Trump might claim a constitutional right to defy such a resolution even if it gets through Congress. Courts have been reluctant to adjudicate disputes between presidents and Congress over their war powers, raising the possibility of a standoff.

Attorney General William P. Barr has long espoused a maximalist interpretation of executive power, and once told President George Bush that he could launch the Persian Gulf war of 1991 without congressional permission and even if lawmakers voted against it. Many executive branch lawyers in Republican administrations have been hostile to the War Powers Resolution.

Many constitutional scholars view the law as a valid constraint on executive power, and Democratic administrations have not raised constitutional objections to it. But there is no controlling precedent to settle the matter, in part because no such confrontation has come to a head.

Perhaps the closest political precedent occurred in 1983. Congress enacted a bill declaring that a peacekeeping mission in Lebanon — after a firefight in Beirut, its capital, killed several Marines — had evolved into “hostilities” covered by the 60-day rule. At the same time, lawmakers granted authority for that mission to continue for 18 months.

President Ronald Reagan signed the law but said in a signing statement that his approval should not be interpreted as a concession that the War Powers Resolution could constrain his authority as commander in chief, though he stopped short of declaring it unconstitutional.

There might be a legal fight over this question, too — especially if any escalated conflict with Iran remained limited to airstrikes and cyberattacks rather than a ground invasion.

Presidents of both parties have argued that the War Powers Resolution did not apply to particular deployments for various reasons. In a 1993 dispute over a peacekeeping mission in Somalia, for example, the Clinton administration argued that the fighting was too intermittent for the law to cover the operation.

And during the 2011 NATO air war in Libya, the Obama administration — despite internal disagreement — argued that American participation could last more than 60 days without congressional authorization because the operation was too limited to count as the sort of “hostilities” the War Powers Resolution covers.

The national security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien, has claimed that Mr. Trump’s order to kill General Suleimani was “fully authorized” by the 2002 law in which Congress authorized the use of military force in Iraq, in addition to Mr. Trump’s constitutional authority to carry out acts of self-defense.

The implication appears to be that it is lawful to defend American troops in Iraq because they were deployed under the 2002 law — even if the threat comes from an Iranian. If Iran responds by attacking American forces in Iraq, the Trump legal team might similarly say the 2002 law covers an escalating response.

Mr. Kaine’s resolution, which states that the Suleimani killing had no congressional authorization, rejects the idea that the 2002 law covers the growing conflict with Iran.

It is unclear. It depends both on the definition of “assassination” and on the strength of the secret intelligence that the Trump administration has said backs its claim that General Suleimani was plotting an “imminent” attack on American forces in Iraq.

As a legal matter, Executive Order 12333 bans government officials from engaging or conspiring in assassinations, but neither it nor any federal law defines the term.

The executive order traces back to a rule imposed by President Gerald R. Ford after accusations came to light in the 1970s that the C.I.A. had been involved in plots to kill foreign elected leaders with Communist sympathies. Later, as the United States grappled with Islamist terrorism, executive branch lawyers under both parties wrote secret memos developing the idea that targeted killings in self-defense are not assassinations.

The Obama administration also developed the idea that what counts as an “imminent” threat — which permits violent acts undertaken in self-defense — can be stretched for terrorists who are continuously planning attacks from the shadows, so that they can be struck during any fleeting opportunity even if they pose no literally imminent threat at that moment.

But no American court precedent exists adjudicating whether either theory is legitimate.

General Suleimani was a high-ranking official of a national government, not a leader of a nonstate terrorist group. But further complicating matters, last year Mr. Trump designated the branch of the Iranian military that General Suleimani led a foreign terrorist organization, the first time the United States deemed a state entity to meet that criteria.

Yes.

Mr. Trump has said on Twitter that if Iran strikes any Americans or American assets in retaliation for General Suleimani’s killing, he will order the military to attack sites that include some that are “important to Iran & the Iranian culture” and that the American strikes back will be “perhaps in a disproportionate manner.”

Part of the Hague Convention requires sparing, as far as possible, “buildings dedicated to religion, art, science” and “historical monuments” so long as they are not being used for a military purpose. The War Crimes Act makes it a felony under domestic law for an American to violate this ban, punishable by up to life in prison or execution if someone is also killed.

The law of war also requires distinguishing military targets from civilian people and property, which cannot be intentionally targeted. While some collateral damage is permissible as a side consequence of striking a legitimate target, it must be proportionate to the military objective.

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A Sea of Mourners in Iran, and New Threats From Both Sides: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

Video

transcript

Crowds Gather at Suleimani’s Funeral

Throngs of people chanting “Death to America” crowded the streets of Tehran on Monday as Iran mourned Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, whose funeral was held in the capital.

He thinks he killed one of us. He hasn’t gone — look how many more Suleimani we have.

Westlake Legal Group 06Iran-briefing1-promo-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600-v3 A Sea of Mourners in Iran, and New Threats From Both Sides: Live Updates United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Esmail Ghaani Defense and Military Forces

Throngs of people chanting “Death to America” crowded the streets of Tehran on Monday as Iran mourned Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, whose funeral was held in the capital.CreditCredit…Office of Iran’s Supreme Leader, via Reuters

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wept and offered prayers over the coffin of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani at the funeral in Tehran on Monday, as throngs of people filled the city’s streets to mourn.

General Suleimani was killed by the United States on Friday in Baghdad in a drone strike. American officials said the general had ordered assaults on Americans in Iraq and Syria and was planning a wave of imminent attacks.

Ayatollah Khamenei had a close relationship with the general, who was widely considered to be the second most powerful man in Iran.

The military commander was hailed as a martyr, and his successor swore revenge during the funeral ceremony, while chants of “Death to America” rang out from the crowds in the capital.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166747320_5c2b277e-7978-4b1e-8564-2e231030f246-articleLarge A Sea of Mourners in Iran, and New Threats From Both Sides: Live Updates United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Esmail Ghaani Defense and Military Forces

State-run news outlets reported that millions had gathered in Tehran.Credit…Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times

“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 elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. “Certainly actions will be taken,” he added.

General Suleimani’s killing has prompted fears of escalating retaliatory actions between Iran and the United States, and of a broader regional conflict. After the attack, Iran said it would no longer abide by a 2015 agreement to suspend uranium production.

Zeinab Suleimani, General Suleimani’s daughter, said in a eulogy that the United States and Israel faced a “dark day.”

“You crazy Trump, the symbol of ignorance, the slave of Zionists, don’t think that the killing of my father will finish everything,” she said.

The general’s funeral was attended by a broad swath of Iranians, including reformers who oppose the government of President Hassan Rouhani but who perceived the killing as an attack on all of Iran.

“I felt like he was our safety umbrella spread above Iran,” said Amir Ali, 22, a university student, of General Suleimani. “I felt safe knowing he was out there.”

The Iraqi government has begun to consider new parameters for the American military in Iraq after lawmakers voted 170-0 on Sunday in favor of expelling United States troops from their country.

The troops will be limited to “training and advising” Iraqi forces, but will not be allowed to move off their bases or to fly in Iraqi airspace while plans are being made for their departure, said Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim Khalaf, the military spokesman for Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

The vote on Sunday was not final and many lawmakers did not attend the session. But Mr. Mahdi drafted the language and submitted the bill to Parliament, leaving little doubt about his support for the expulsion.

Mr. Mahdi met with Matthew Tueller, the American ambassador to Iraq, on Monday, and “stressed the need for joint action to implement the withdrawal,” according to a statement and photo released by Mr. Mahdi’s office. He also emphasized Iraq’s efforts to prevent the current tensions between Iran and the United States from sliding into “open war.”

Mr. Mahdi also made clear that Iraq wanted good relations with “all countries” but that Iraq wanted those relationships to be based on “mutual respect, and preserving its security, stability and national sovereignty.”

The drone strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani on Friday also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Forces, a coalition of Iranian-backed militias in Iraq.

The attack was viewed by many in Iraq as a violation of the nation’s sovereignty, and the Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that it had summoned the American ambassador. Iran reacted to Sunday’s vote with congratulatory messages.

But the Iraqi Parliament was divided over the demands from angry citizens to expel American troops. Nearly half of its members, primarily Kurds and Sunnis, did not attend Sunday’s session and did not vote. In his speech to lawmakers, Mr. Mahdi laid out two possibilities: to either quickly end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq, or to set a timeline for their expulsion.

The measure approved by Parliament did not include a timeline, and only instructed the government to end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq. Officials said no decision had been made about whether any American troops would be able to stay, or under what conditions.

By Monday, there was still no timetable for the troops’ departure and no specifics about whether all American forces would be asked to leave or only some. And while Mr. Mahdi’s rhetoric was tough in his speech to the Iraqi Parliament on Sunday, by late in the evening, after speaking with President Emmanuel Macron of France by phone, his language was more modulated.

In a post on Twitter describing their phone call, Mr. Mahdi suggested that he was leaving the door open to something less than a complete departure.

He said he had agreed with Mr. Macron to “continue to discuss this delicate issue.”

He added that they talked about “the withdrawal of the foreign forces from Iraq in a way that would not damage the battle against ISIS and would preserve the sovereignty of Iraq and keep its relationships with the countries of the international coalition” that is fighting the Islamic State in Iraq.

Those goals would be difficult to achieve without some continued presence by the United States, because other countries’ troops are unlikely to stay in the absence of American military support.

In an address to the Iraqi Parliament on Sunday, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi of Iraq said that he was supposed to meet with General Suleimani on the morning he was killed.

“It was expected that he was carrying a message for me from the Iranian side responding to the Saudi message that we had sent to the Iranian side to reach agreements and breakthroughs important for the situation in Iraq and the region,” Mr. Mahdi said.

The content of the messages was not immediately clear, but Mr. Mahdi’s comments suggested that the drone strike ordered by Mr. Trump may have interrupted a diplomatic back channel aimed at averting conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

President Trump on Sunday doubled down on his threats to attack Iranian cultural sites and warned of a “major retaliation” if the Iranian government planned tit-for-tat attacks in the aftermath of the killing of a senior military commander.

Mr. Trump defended the drone strike that killed General Suleimani.

Earlier on Sunday, Mr. Trump said in a tweet that the United States had selected 52 Iranian sites, some “at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture” to attack in the event of Iranian retaliation.

That prompted the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, to say that “targeting cultural sites is a war crime.”

But on Sunday evening, aboard Air Force One on his way back from his holiday trip to Florida, Mr. Trump did not back down.

“They’re allowed to kill our people,” he said to reporters. “They’re allowed to torture and maim our people. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural site? It doesn’t work that way.”

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran said in a tweet on Monday that “those who refer to the number 52 should also remember the number 290,” in a reference to the number of people killed when an Iranian passenger plane was shot down by an American warship in the Persian Gulf in 1988.

“Never threaten the Iranian nation,” Mr. Rouhani said.

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.

Two top Senate Democrats urged President Trump early Monday to declassify the document that the administration sent to Congress formally giving notice of the airstrike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani. It is unusual for an administration to classify the entirety of such a notification, and Democrats upbraided the document as insufficient. The notification to Congress is required by law.

In a joint statement, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader; and Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said it was “critical that national security matters of such import be shared with the American people in a timely manner.”

“An entirely classified notification is simply not appropriate in a democratic society, and there appears to be no legitimate justification for classifying this notification,” they said.

The House is expected to vote later this week on a resolution invoking the War Powers Act that would curtail the president’s ability to authorize a strike against Iran without Congress’s approval. The Senate could vote on similar legislation as soon as mid-January.

Saudi Arabia is scrambling to ease tensions in the Middle East amid fears that Iran could retaliate for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani with strikes against Riyadh and other American allies in the region.

Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, is sending his younger brother, Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman, to Washington in the coming days to urge restraint, the Saudi news media has reported.

“We are very keen that the situation in the region doesn’t escalate any further,” the Saudi foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, told reporters in Riyadh on Monday. “It’s certainly a very dangerous moment, and we have to be conscious of the risks and dangers, not just to the region but to wider global security, and therefore we hope that all actors take all the steps necessary to prevent any further escalation and any provocation.”

While the Saudi leadership considers Iran its staunchest regional enemy, a drone and missile attack on Saudi oil processing plants in September that the United States accused Iran of orchestrating exposed the kingdom’s vulnerability — and raised questions about President Trump’s willingness to defend it.

The United States Embassy in Riyadh this week warned Americans in the kingdom of “the heightened risk of missile and drone attacks,” adding that Americans working near military bases and oil facilities were “at heightened risk of attack.”

The Iranian government said it would no longer abide by a commitment it made under a 2015 nuclear deal that limited its enrichment of uranium.

The decision to lift all restrictions on the production of nuclear fuel spelled the effective end of the nuclear deal, experts said, though Iran left open the possibility that it would return to the limits if sanctions were lifted.

“It’s finished. If there’s no limitation on production, then there is no deal,” said David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a nonprofit in Washington.

The announcement came after the Iranian Supreme National Security Council held an emergency meeting on Sunday after General Suleimani’s assassination.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will end its final limitations in the nuclear deal, meaning the limitation in the number of centrifuges,” the government said in a statement. “Therefore Iran’s nuclear program will have no limitations in production including enrichment capacity and percentage and number of enriched uranium and research and expansion.”

The announcement followed several steps by Iran to move away from the terms of the agreement, nearly two years after Mr. Trump withdrew the United States. The other parties to the deal included Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.

None except the United States have left the agreement, which was a key foreign policy achievement of former President Barack Obama. Since that renunciation, the Trump administration has imposed severe sanctions aimed at crippling Iran’s economy.

The nuclear agreement ended some economic sanctions on Iran in return for its verifiable pledge to use nuclear power peacefully.

Iran’s statement on Sunday did not include details about its enrichment ambitions. And the country did not say that it was expelling the inspectors who monitor its nuclear program.

President Trump seemed to respond to the announcement on Monday with an all-caps post on Twitter:

A senior adviser to President Trump on Monday said that the president held open the possibility of renegotiating a nuclear deal with Iran.

“He said he’s open to meet if Iran wants to start behaving like a normal country,” Kellyanne Conway, Mr. Trump’s White House counselor, told reporters.

The European parties to the deal, including Britain, France and Germany, as well as China and Russia, also signatories to the deal, had struggled to preserve the agreement as tensions between the United States and Iran worsened.

Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a daily news briefing that there was still hope for the nuclear deal. He noted that Tehran had said it would continue to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, which monitors Iranian activities under the agreement, and that it could return to the pact under the right conditions.

“We believe that although Iran has been compelled to reduce adherence owing to external factors, it has also demonstrated restraint,” Mr. Geng said.

In a joint statement on Sunday night, Britain, France and Germany called on Iran to refrain from violence and to return to “full compliance with its commitments” under the 2015 nuclear agreement, which Tehran has seemed to all but have abandoned.

The statement followed Iran’s announcement that day that it would no longer abide by the limits to uranium enrichment set out in the deal, a move that seemed to finally kill off the agreement after months during which Tehran had carefully breached less significant limits.

President Trump withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal in 2018.

The European statement seemed somewhat forlorn, since its efforts to preserve the deal have been weak, hamstrung in part by a desire to maintain good relations with Washington. The statement did not support the drone strike on the Iranian general but did acknowledge American concerns, saying that, “we have condemned the recent attacks’’ on coalition forces in Iraq and “are gravely concerned by the negative role played by Iran in the region.’’

The statement called for “de-escalation” of tensions from all parties and reaffirmed the Europeans’ determination “to continuing the fight against Islamic State, which remains a priority.’’ And it called on Iraq “to continue to supply the necessary support to the coalition’’ — in other words, to not expel American and NATO troops.

The secretary general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, called an emergency meeting of the alliance’s advisers on Monday afternoon. During a news conference following the meeting Mr. Stoltenberg said NATO would be suspending training operations on the ground in Iraq.

“At our meeting today, Allies expressed their strong support for the fight against ISIS and for the NATO mission in Iraq,” he said. “In everything that we do, the safety of our personnel is paramount. As such, we have temporarily suspended our training on the ground.”

Josep Borrell Fontelles, the European Union foreign policy chief, posted on Twitter that while the bloc regretted Iran’s announcement on the deal, it would wait for independent verification from the international nuclear monitoring group to determine what actions would be taken.

Peter Stano, his spokesman, said during a news briefing in Brussels said that de-escalation was the goal.

“It’s in our interest as Europeans to maintain this agreement,” Mr. Stano said.

On Monday, Heiko Maas, the German foreign minister, said that the Europeans would talk to Iran and planned to come up with a coordinated response.

“This could be the first step toward the end of this agreement, which would be a great loss,” Mr. Maas told a German radio station. “And so we will weigh things up very, very responsibly.”

Russian officials have been sharply critical of the targeted killing in Iraq but have not otherwise intimated how the Kremlin might respond, or whether Moscow, which has longstanding ties with Tehran, might play a mediating role.

President Vladimir V. Putin invited Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to visit Moscow on Saturday to discuss the strike, among other issues, the Kremlin announced.

Oil prices surged and stock markets in Asia fell on Monday morning, as the impact of General Suleimani’s death ricocheted around the world.

The price of Brent oil, the international benchmark, jumped above $70 in futures trading as markets digested a steady flow of news over the weekend. It fell back below that level, to $69.92 a barrel, when markets opened in Europe, though the price was still about 5 percent higher than before the killing last week.

The sudden escalation in tensions in a region that supplies much of the world’s petroleum has roiled oil markets. The West Texas Intermediate, the American oil benchmark, rose 1.9 percent to $64.22 a barrel in futures trading.

Analysts at Capital Economics have warned that the price of oil could spike to $150 a barrel if the bellicose rhetoric between the two countries turned into action.

“The price of oil would soar in the event of full-blown military conflict in the Middle East,” said Alexander Kozul-Wright, a commodities economist at Capital Economics.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, fresh from winning a mandate to take Britain out of the European Union, faces a particularly vexing challenge in dealing with the escalation between the United States and Iran.

In the first foreign policy crisis of the post-Brexit era, London is caught between its traditional alliance with Washington — one that Mr. Johnson wants to deepen further with a trade agreement — and the new relationship with Europe.

In his first statement on President Trump’s decision to strike the general, Mr. Johnson took pains to emphasize the threat posed by the Iranian military leader and said, “We will not lament his death.” But Mr. Johnson also called on all sides to avoid aggravating the situation, echoing the language used by the French and German governments.

Mr. Johnson suggested he wanted to play a mediating role and noted that he had spoken to Mr. Trump, as well as to President Emmanuel Macron of France and to Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. The European governments have been more circumspect in their reactions to the American strike, with the Germans criticizing Mr. Trump’s threat to impose sanctions on Iraq if Baghdad were to expel American troops from bases in the country.

Mr. Johnson was said to be upset that Mr. Trump had not notified him of the strike in advance, but he can ill afford a falling out with the president, given Britain’s need to initiate trade talks with Washington

The United States Embassy in Israel said in a security alert on Monday that tension in the Middle East could result in rocket attacks or other dangerous situations for Americans who are abroad.

“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.

The embassy said people should keep a low profile, be aware of their surroundings and monitor local media, among other suggestions.

António Guterres, the secretary general of the United Nations, said in a statement on Monday that “Geopolitical tensions are at their highest level this century.”

“Even nuclear non-proliferation can no longer be taken for granted,” he said. “This cauldron of tensions is leading more and more countries to take unpredicted decisions with unpredictable consequences and a profound risk of miscalculation.”

He said he was urging world leaders to stop the escalation.

Reporting was contributed by Alissa J. Rubin, Ben Hubbard, Russell Goldman, Alexandra Stevenson, Farnaz Fassihi, Christopher Buckley, Megan Specia, Steven Erlanger, Melissa Eddy, Mark Landler, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Eric Schmitt, Vivian Yee, David D. Kirkpatrick, Catie Edmondson, Andrew Kramer, Edward Wong and Eileen Sullivan.

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American Consumers, Not China, Are Paying for Trump’s Tariffs

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WASHINGTON — American businesses and consumers, not China, are bearing the financial brunt of President Trump’s trade war, new data shows, undermining the president’s assertion that the United States is “taxing the hell out of China.”

“U.S. tariffs continue to be almost entirely borne by U.S. firms and consumers,” Mary Amiti, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, wrote in a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper. The other authors of the paper were David E. Weinstein of Columbia University and Stephen J. Redding of Princeton.

Examining the fallout of tariffs in data through October, the authors found that Americans had continued paying for the levies — which increased substantially over the course of the year. Their paper, which is an update on previous research, found that “approximately 100 percent” of import taxes fell on American buyers.

The findings are the latest evidence that voters and American businesses are paying the cost of Mr. Trump’s penchant for using tariffs to try to rewrite the terms of trade in favor of the United States.

Manufacturing is slumping, a fact economists attribute at least partly to uncertainty stemming from the trade spats, and business investment has suffered as corporate executives wait to see how — or if — the tensions will end.

The United States and China have reached a trade truce and are expected to sign an initial deal this month, but tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese goods will remain in place. The levies, which are as high as 25 percent, have forced some multinational businesses to move their operations out of China, sending operations to countries like Vietnam and Mexico.

Mr. Trump and his supporters say that the United States had no choice but to resort to tough tactics to try to force China to abandon unfair economic behaviors, like infringing on American intellectual property and providing state subsidies to Chinese firms. And Mr. Trump has continued to incorrectly assert that China — not American companies and consumers — is paying the cost of the tariffs.

Tariffs may have worked as a negotiating chip to get China to the table, but recent academic research shows that leverage has come at a steep price for some American businesses and consumers.

The authors of the latest study used customs data to trace the fallout, examining import values before and after the tariffs. The research showed that the tariffs had little impact on China.

“We’re just not seeing foreigners bearing the cost, which to me is very surprising,” Professor Weinstein said in an interview.

They also found a delayed impact from the tariffs, with the decline in some imports roughly doubling on average in the second year of the levies.

That is because “it takes some time for firms to reorganize their supply chains so that they can avoid the tariffs,” the authors write.

Reaction to the tariffs has varied across business sectors, however. In the steel industry, for example, companies that export to the United States have dropped their prices — suggesting that other countries are in fact paying “close to half” of the cost of tariffs, according to the paper.

Because China is only the 10th-largest steel supplier to the United States, though, exporters in the European Union, Japan and South Korea are most likely bearing much of that cost. And as foreign prices drop, domestic steel production has barely budged, which bodes poorly for hiring in the United States steel industry, the authors note.

“The steel industry isn’t getting that much protection, as a result,” Professor Weinstein said.

In previous research, the authors found that by December 2018, import tariffs were costing United States consumers and importing businesses $3.2 billion per month in added taxes and another $1.4 billion per month in efficiency losses. They did not update those numbers in the latest study.

Their analysis joins a growing body of research examining the effects of the escalating tariffs Mr. Trump has imposed since the beginning of 2018.

A study released in late December by two economists at the Fed, Aaron Flaaen and Justin Pierce, found that any positive effects that tariffs offered American companies in terms of protection from Chinese imports were outweighed by their costs. Those costs include the higher prices companies must pay to import components from China, and the retaliatory tariffs China placed on the United States in response, the economists said.

Another study, published in October by researchers at Harvard University, the University of Chicago and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, also found that almost all of the cost of the tariffs was being passed on from businesses in China to American importers.

The October study found that the situation was not the same for the tariffs that China has placed on American goods in retaliation. The researchers found that American businesses had less success passing on the costs of those tariffs to Chinese importers, most likely because of the types of goods being sold.

Many of the products that the United States sells to China are undifferentiated commodities, like agricultural goods, but China sends many specialized consumer goods like silk embroidery, laptops and smartphones to the United States. China can easily swap Brazilian soybeans for American ones, but the types of goods that China sends to the United States are harder for American businesses to substitute, the researchers said.

Ms. Amiti’s colleagues at the New York Fed have traced the costs of tariffs in other research. Their study similarly found that import prices on goods coming from China had remained largely unchanged as tariffs rolled out, and argued that already-narrow profit margins — ones that leave no room for cutting — and a dearth of competitors could be among the factors insulating Chinese exporters.

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Bolton Is Willing to Testify in Trump’s Impeachment Trial

Westlake Legal Group 06dc-impeach-sub-facebookJumbo Bolton Is Willing to Testify in Trump’s Impeachment Trial Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate McConnell, Mitch House of Representatives Bolton, John R

WASHINGTON — John R. Bolton, the former White House national security adviser, said on Monday that he was willing to testify at President Trump’s impeachment trial if subpoenaed.

“I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify,” Mr. Bolton said in a statement on his website.

The development is a dramatic turn that could alter the dynamic of the impeachment proceeding, which has been stalled over Democrats’ insistence on hearing from critical witnesses Mr. Trump blocked from testifying in the House inquiry into his pressure campaign on Ukraine. Mr. Bolton is a potentially vital witness, with crucial knowledge of the president’s actions and conversations regarding Ukraine that could fill in key blanks in the narrative of the impeachment case.

Democrats quickly seized on his public declaration, arguing that it strengthened their case that the Senate must hear from Mr. Bolton and other senior officials as part of Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial.

It is unclear how the White House will respond to Mr. Bolton, but his statement strongly suggested that he would be willing to testify regardless of whether Mr. Trump sought to prevent him, even in the absence of a legal ruling compelling him to do so.

“It now falls to the Senate to fulfill its constitutional obligation to try impeachments, and it does not appear possible that a final judicial resolution of the still-unanswered constitutional questions can be obtained before the Senate acts,” Mr. Bolton wrote. “Accordingly, since my testimony is once again at issue, I have had to resolve the serious competing issues as best I could, based on careful consideration and study.”

Mr. Bolton’s willingness to tell the Senate what he knows could change the political calculus around a trial for Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, who has steadfastly refused to commit to calling witnesses. Now that the former national security adviser has essentially told senators that he has information relevant to their proceeding that he is willing to share, Mr. McConnell, the majority leader, may face new pressure from some moderate Republicans, such as Senator Susan M. Collins, of Maine, Senator Lisa S. Murkowski of Alaska, and Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, to allow him to testify.

“Given that Mr. Bolton’s lawyers have stated he has new relevant information to share, if any Senate Republican opposes issuing subpoenas to the four witnesses and documents we have requested, they would make absolutely clear they are participating in a cover-up,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, said in a statement.

A spokesman for Mr. McConnell declined to comment Monday afternoon shortly after the announcement.

The two parties have been at an impasse over the issue of witnesses for weeks now, and the dispute has delayed the start of Mr. Trump’s trial. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, has declined to send the Senate the charges against Mr. Trump, which would trigger the start of the trial, saying that she first wants assurances that Mr. McConnell will run a fair process.

Democrats insist the trial must include testimony from Mr. Bolton and others, as well as new documentary evidence. But Mr. McConnell argues the Senate should not even consider admitting new information in the trial until after it hears opening arguments from the prosecution and the defense. The matter is all but certain to come to a vote at some point.

Under Senate rules, it takes only 51 senators to call a witness or request new evidence, meaning Mr. McConnell’s ability to call the shots are limited.

“The President & Sen. McConnell have run out of excuses,” Ms. Pelosi tweeted on Monday. “They must allow key witnesses to testify, and produce the documents Trump has blocked, so Americans can see the facts for themselves. The Senate cannot be complicit in the President’s cover-up.

If he did appear under oath in the Senate, Mr. Bolton would be the closest adviser to the president to answer questions about what Mr. Trump said behind closed doors as he pressured the Ukranians to investigate his political rivals as he was withholding nearly $400 million in military aid from the country.

The Democratic-led House impeached Mr. Trump last month on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, charging him with a corrupt scheme to solicit help from Ukraine in the 2020 election, and concealing his actions from Congress.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly sought to block his most senior aides, as well as former advisers who have left the White House, from speaking to Congress, and has gone to court to stop several of them from cooperating.

Mr. Bolton declined to say on Monday precisely what he would be willing to tell Congress. But his lawyer, Charles J. Cooper, told the House’s top lawyer in November that Mr. Bolton knew about “many relevant meetings and conversations” connected to the Ukraine matter that had not been shared with House impeachment investigators. And former White House officials and people close to Mr. Bolton have indicated that his testimony would likely be damning to Mr. Trump and put additional pressure on moderate Republicans to consider convicting him.

That could place Mr. Trump at greater risk in the Senate, where a two-thirds vote — 67 senators — is needed to remove a president. Democrats, the minority party, effectively control 47 seats.

Although Mr. Bolton never spoke with House investigators, his aides provided them with a portrait of how he viewed Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. The aides said that Mr. Bolton was deeply concerned about how Mr. Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, pressured the Ukranians to investigate Democrats. A top former deputy testified under oath that Mr. Bolton told White House colleagues that Mr. Giuliani was a “hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.”

Others described a campaign by Mr. Bolton to marshal the administration’s top national security officials to convince Mr. Trump in August and September to release his hold on the military assistance for Ukraine. At one point, Mr. Bolton met privately with the president to press his case that it was in the United States’ best interest to unfreeze the funds, though the precise substance of the discussion is not publicly known.

Late last year, the chances of Mr. Bolton testifying looked bleak. In October, the House subpoenaed Mr. Bolton’s deputy, Charles Kupperman, but the White House tried to block him from testifying. Mr. Kupperman is also represented by Mr. Cooper, who filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to decide on what Mr. Kupperman should do. The House withdrew the subpoena, as leading Democrats argued it was not worth awaiting the outcome of a lengthy — potentially yearslong — legal proceeding before moving to impeach Mr. Trump.

The judge ruled late last month that the issue was moot, leaving the question of whether the president’s closest advisers had to testify unresolved.

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Bolton Says He Is Willing to Testify in Impeachment Trial

Westlake Legal Group 06dc-impeach-sub-facebookJumbo Bolton Says He Is Willing to Testify in Impeachment Trial Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate McConnell, Mitch House of Representatives Bolton, John R

WASHINGTON — John R. Bolton, the former White House national security adviser, said on Monday that he was willing to testify at President Trump’s impeachment trial if he was subpoenaed.

“I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify,” Mr. Bolton said in a statement on his website.

The development is a dramatic turn in the impeachment proceeding, which has been stalled over Democrats’ insistence on hearing from critical witnesses Mr. Trump blocked from testifying in the House inquiry into his pressure campaign on Ukraine. Mr. Bolton is a potential bombshell of a witness, with crucial knowledge of the president’s actions and conversations regarding Ukraine that could fill out key blanks in the narrative of the impeachment case.

His willingness to tell the Senate what he knows ratchets up pressure on Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, who has refused to commit to calling witnesses at the impeachment trial, to change his stance. It is unclear how the White House will respond to Mr. Bolton’s declaration, but his statement strongly suggested that he would testify regardless of whether Mr. Trump sought to prevent him.

A spokesman for Mr. McConnell declined to comment Monday afternoon shortly after the announcement.

“It now falls to the Senate to fulfill its constitutional obligation to try impeachments, and it does not appear possible that a final judicial resolution of the still-unanswered constitutional questions can be obtained before the Senate acts,” Mr. Bolton wrote. “Accordingly, since my testimony is once again at issue, I have had to resolve the serious competing issues as best I could, based on careful consideration and study.”

If he did appear under oath in the Senate, Mr. Bolton would be the closest adviser to the president to testify about what Mr. Trump said behind closed doors as he pressured the Ukranians to investigate his political rivals as he was withholding nearly $400 million in military aid from the country.

The Democratic-led House impeached Mr. Trump last month on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, charging him with a corrupt scheme to solicit help from Ukraine in the 2020 election, and concealing his actions from Congress.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly sought to block his most senior aides, as well as former advisers who have left the White House, from speaking to Congress, and has gone to court to stop several of them from cooperating.

Mr. Bolton declined to say on Monday precisely what he would be willing to tell Congress. But former White House officials and people close to Mr. Bolton have indicated that his testimony would likely be damning to Mr. Trump and put additional pressure on moderate Republicans to consider convicting him.

That could fundamentally change the dynamics around the impeachment trial in the Senate, where a two-thirds vote — 67 senators — is needed to remove Mr. Trump. Democrats, the minority party, control 45 seats.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has so far declined to send the Senate the charges against Mr. Trump, which would trigger the start of the trial, saying that she wants assurances that Mr. McConnell will run a fair process.

Although Mr. Bolton never spoke with House investigators, his aides provided them with a portrait of how he viewed Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. The aides said that Mr. Bolton was deeply concerned about how Mr. Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, pressured the Ukranians to investigate Democrats. Other officials testified under oath that Mr. Bolton told White House colleagues that Mr. Giuliani was a “hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.”

Late last year, the chances of Mr. Bolton testifying looked bleak. In October, the House subpoenaed Mr. Bolton’s deputy, Charles Kupperman, but the White House tried to block him from testifying. Mr. Kupperman’s lawyer, Charles Cooper, who also represents Mr. Bolton, filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to decide on what Mr. Kupperman should do. The House withdrew the subpoena, as leading Democrats argued it was not worth awaiting the outcome of a lengthy — potentially yearslong — legal proceeding before moving to impeach Mr. Trump.

The judge ruled late last month that the issue was moot, leaving the question of whether the president’s closest advisers had to testify unresolved.

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What Is Trump’s Iran Strategy? Few Seem to Know

Westlake Legal Group 06int-iran1-facebookJumbo What Is Trump’s Iran Strategy? Few Seem to Know United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Iran

When the United States announced on Friday that it had killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, something about its explanation left many analysts puzzled.

The strike was intended to deter further Iranian attacks, administration officials said. But they also said it was also expected to provoke severe enough attacks by Iran that the Pentagon was deploying an additional several thousand troops to the region.

The apparent contradiction left many experts wondering about the strike’s intended goal, and the strategy behind it.

The next day did little to settle the matter. The strike had been intended to prevent an imminent Iranian attack, officials said publicly. Or to change the behavior of Iran’s surviving leaders. Or to cow those leaders, whose behavior would never change.

Others said privately that President Trump had ordered it in response to television reports of an Iranian-backed siege on the American Embassy compound in Baghdad.

Mr. Suleimani’s killing has left a swirl of confusion among analysts, former policymakers and academics. The United States had initiated a sudden, drastic escalation against a regional power, risking fierce retaliation, or even war.

Why?

“There’s not a single person that I’ve spoken to who can tell you what Trump is up to with Iran,” said Ellie Geranmayeh, an analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

It’s not that experts or foreign officials suspect a secret agenda, but that the administration’s action fit no clear pattern or long-term strategy, she said. “It just doesn’t add up.”

The killing, many say, deepens the uncertainty that has surrounded Mr. Trump’s ambitions toward Iran since he withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear accord and began a series of provocations that he terms maximum pressure.

The risk, experts say, is that if they cannot figure out the administration’s goals and priorities for Iran, its red lines and points of possible compromise, then foreign governments won’t be able to either.

“Absolutely not,” Ms. Geranmayeh said when asked whether European or Middle Eastern officials, whom she speaks with regularly, understood Mr. Trump’s strategy. “Not even the closest U.S. allies, like in London.”

This imposes a layer of confusion on the conflict, just as it enters a dangerous and volatile new chapter, inviting mixed messages and misread intentions.

“If it’s that hard for us to understand, imagine the Iranians,” said Dalia Dassa Kaye, who directs a Middle East policy center at RAND Corporation, a nonpartisan research group.

Mixed signals, she said, make any effort to shape an adversary’s behavior “incredibly ineffective.” Uncertainty about Mr. Trump’s intentions also increases risks that the conflict could spiral out of control.

Without a clear understanding of what actions will lead the United States to ramp up or ramp down hostilities, she said, Iranian leaders are operating in the dark — and waiting to stumble past some unseen red line.

“That’s what makes this a dangerous situation,” she said.

Part of the uncertainty is specific to Mr. Trump. His impulsive style and resistance to accepting difficult trade-offs have made his goals on Iran difficult to parse.

He has cycled between ambitions of withdrawing from the Middle East, positioning himself as a once-in-a-generation peacemaker and, more recently, promising to oppose Iran more forcefully than any recent president has.

He has also been pulled between his advisers, with some urging cautious adherence to the status quo and others arguing for overtly topping Iran’s government.

Mr. Trump’s reputation for distortions and untruths have also made it difficult to separate bluster from agenda-setting.

He took the United States out of the nuclear agreement and imposed sanctions against Iran — which some see as setting off a crisis that continue today — on claims that it was “on the cusp” of acquiring nuclear weapons “in just a short period of time.”

But international inspectors and United States military leaders said that Iran was complying with requirements to freeze its nuclear development.

Without a clear explanation for Mr. Trump’s behavior, anyone whose job requires forecasting the next American action — from foreign head of state to think tank analyst — was left guessing.

Deepening the challenge, the administration followed up with a set of demands that included some nuclear restrictions but focused mostly on Iran’s regional influence and proxy forces, ordering Tehran to sever ties to nearly all of them in a sweeping surrender.

Was this the real agenda? If so, what were the plans for winning each demand, and the metrics for measuring whether those plans were working? How would the administration balance competing priorities?

American action on the ground deepened confusion.

United States diplomacy has emphasized calls for peace but has conspicuously declined to offer what diplomats call “offramps” — easy, low-stakes opportunities for both sides to begin de-escalating, which are considered essential first steps.

“There’s been no talk of, say, ‘If you do this, then we’ll bring back waivers,’” Ms. Kaye said, referring to American waivers allowing other countries to buy Iranian oil. “‘If you do X, then you’ll get Y.’ There’s been nothing tangible like that.”

Throughout months of proxy conflict, American military responses have ranged from muted or nonexistent — as in the case of an attack on Saudi oil facilities that was believed to be the work of Iran — to extreme escalations like killing Mr. Suleimani.

Even if each action might be defensible on its own, experts and foreign officials have strained to match them with a consistent set of motives and objectives.

Suspicions have deepened that there may be no long-term strategy at all, even among those sympathetic to Mr. Trump’s policies.

R. Nicholas Burns, a senior State Department official under President George W. Bush, wrote on Twitter that the United States might have had a “legitimate right” to kill General Suleimani.

But, he asked, “has Trump considered next 15 moves on chessboard? How to protect our people? Line up allies to support us? Contain Iran but avoid wider war? My guess is he hasn’t.”

Ms. Geranmayeh stressed that the conflict between the United States and Iran also threatens to draw in a host of Middle Eastern and European countries.

To navigate tensions and avoid worsening them, allies and adversaries alike must astutely judge American intentions and anticipate American actions.

All of them, she said, seemed at a loss.

“Most experts and officials that I’ve spoken to from the Middle East, including close allies — Saudi Arabia, Israel — they also can’t tell you with confidence what Trump wants on Iran,” she said.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had already been ramping down tensions with Iran, Ms. Geranmayeh said, “because they have no idea how Trump will behave from one week to the next” and fear getting caught in the middle.

Similar confusion in Tehran, she added, could become “the biggest problem.”

“If Trump is not managing a consistent and clear message to the Iranians about what he wants,” she said, “then this opens up a lot of space for a lot of miscalculation.”

The most important question, Ms. Kaye said, is what steps by Iran might cause Mr. Trump to pull back. “There’s not an understanding about what is the end game, what is the U.S. trying to achieve, when will the Trump administration be happy, and enough is enough,” she said.

And while judging what will provoke American escalations against Iran is not straightforward, she said, those escalations have come steadily enough as to seem almost inevitable.

“Action on the ground has been continuously punitive,” she said.

Brett McGurk, who until last year was the administration’s special envoy to the coalition against the Islamic State, warned his former bosses, in an article for Foreign Affairs, that their maximalist demands had left “no plausible on-ramp for Iran to enter negotiations, since nobody, including the Iranians, knows what Iran is supposed to negotiate about.”

Ms. Kaye said Iran might conclude that it should tread with extreme caution. Or it might reason that the United States poses a threat that is both existential and unyielding, compelling Tehran to gamble on taking extreme measures.

“What I’m concerned about is that mixed signals, plus the perception of existential threat,” Ms. Kaye said, “might lead to dramatic steps that we might not have thought possible.”

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Tears From Ayatollah as Iran Mourns Dead General: Live Updates

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Crowds Gather at Suleimani’s Funeral

Throngs of people chanting “Death to America” crowded the streets of Tehran on Monday as Iran mourned Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, whose funeral was held in the capital.

He thinks he killed one of us. He hasn’t gone — look how many more Suleimani we have.

Westlake Legal Group 06Iran-briefing1-promo-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600-v3 Tears From Ayatollah as Iran Mourns Dead General: Live Updates United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Esmail Ghaani Defense and Military Forces

Throngs of people chanting “Death to America” crowded the streets of Tehran on Monday as Iran mourned Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, whose funeral was held in the capital.CreditCredit…Office of Iran’s Supreme Leader, via Reuters

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wept and offered prayers over the coffin of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani at the funeral in Tehran on Monday, as throngs of people filled the city’s streets to mourn.

General Suleimani was killed by the United States on Friday in Baghdad in a drone strike. American officials said the general had ordered assaults on Americans in Iraq and Syria and was planning a wave of imminent attacks.

Ayatollah Khamenei had a close relationship with the general, who was widely considered to be the second most powerful man in Iran.

The military commander was hailed as a martyr, and his successor swore revenge during the funeral ceremony, while chants of “Death to America” rang out from the crowds in the capital.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166747320_5c2b277e-7978-4b1e-8564-2e231030f246-articleLarge Tears From Ayatollah as Iran Mourns Dead General: Live Updates United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Esmail Ghaani Defense and Military Forces

State-run news outlets reported that millions had gathered in Tehran.Credit…Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times

“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 elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. “Certainly actions will be taken,” he added.

General Suleimani’s killing has prompted fears of escalating retaliatory actions between Iran and the United States, and of a broader regional conflict. After the attack, Iran said it would no longer abide by a 2015 agreement to suspend uranium production.

Zeinab Suleimani, General Suleimani’s daughter, said in a eulogy that the United States and Israel faced a “dark day.”

“You crazy Trump, the symbol of ignorance, the slave of Zionists, don’t think that the killing of my father will finish everything,” she said.

The general’s funeral was attended by a broad swath of Iranians, including reformers who oppose the government of President Hassan Rouhani but who perceived the killing as an attack on all of Iran.

“I felt like he was our safety umbrella spread above Iran,” said Amir Ali, 22, a university student, of General Suleimani. “I felt safe knowing he was out there.”

The Iraqi government has begun to consider new parameters for the American military in Iraq after lawmakers voted 170-0 on Sunday in favor of expelling United States troops from their country.

The troops will be limited to “training and advising” Iraqi forces, but will not be allowed to move off their bases or to fly in Iraqi airspace while plans are being made for their departure, said Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim Khalaf, the military spokesman for Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

The vote on Sunday was not final and many lawmakers did not attend the session. But Mr. Mahdi drafted the language and submitted the bill to Parliament, leaving little doubt about his support for the expulsion.

The drone strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani on Friday also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Forces, a coalition of Iranian-backed militias in Iraq.

The attack was viewed by many in Iraq as a violation of the nation’s sovereignty, and the Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that it had summoned the American ambassador. Iran reacted to Sunday’s vote with congratulatory messages.

But the Iraqi Parliament was divided over the demands from angry citizens to expel American troops. Nearly half of its members, primarily Kurds and Sunnis, did not attend Sunday’s session and did not vote. In his speech to lawmakers, Mr. Mahdi laid out two possibilities: to either quickly end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq, or to set a timeline for their expulsion.

The measure approved by Parliament did not include a timeline, and only instructed the government to end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq. Officials said no decision had been made about whether any American troops would be able to stay, or under what conditions.

By Monday, there was still no timetable for the troops’ departure and no specifics about whether all American forces would be asked to leave or only some. And while Mr. Mahdi’s rhetoric was tough in his speech to the Iraqi Parliament on Sunday, by late in the evening, after speaking with President Emmanuel Macron of France by phone, his language was more modulated.

In a post on Twitter describing their phone call, Mr. Mahdi suggested that he was leaving the door open to something less than a complete departure.

He said he had agreed with Mr. Macron to “continue to discuss this delicate issue.”

He added that they talked about “the withdrawal of the foreign forces from Iraq in a way that would not damage the battle against ISIS and would preserve the sovereignty of Iraq and keep its relationships with the countries of the international coalition” that is fighting the Islamic State in Iraq.

Those goals would be difficult to achieve without some continued presence by the United States, because other countries’ troops are unlikely to stay in the absence of American military support.

President Trump and other American officials have said that Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani was in the midst of planning attacks on United States forces when he was killed. But the general may have also been working as a go-between in quiet efforts to reduce the tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Hostility and competition for influence had grown for years between the two regional rivals, but in recent months, Iran and Saudi Arabia had taken steps toward indirect talks to diffuse the situation.

In an address to the Iraqi Parliament on Sunday, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi of Iraq said that he was supposed to meet with General Suleimani on the morning he was killed.

“It was expected that he was carrying a message for me from the Iranian side responding to the Saudi message that we had sent to the Iranian side to reach agreements and breakthroughs important for the situation in Iraq and the region,” Mr. Mahdi said.

The content of the messages was not immediately clear, but Mr. Mahdi’s comments suggested that the drone strike ordered by Mr. Trump may have interrupted a diplomatic back channel aimed at averting conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

President Trump on Sunday doubled down on his threats to attack Iranian cultural sites and warned of a “major retaliation” if the Iranian government planned tit-for-tat attacks in the aftermath of the killing of a senior military commander.

Mr. Trump defended the drone strike that killed General Suleimani.

Earlier on Sunday, Mr. Trump said in a tweet that the United States had selected 52 Iranian sites, some “at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture” to attack in the event of Iranian retaliation.

That prompted the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, to say that “targeting cultural sites is a war crime.”

But on Sunday evening, aboard Air Force One on his way back from his holiday trip to Florida, Mr. Trump did not back down.

“They’re allowed to kill our people,” he said to reporters. “They’re allowed to torture and maim our people. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural site? It doesn’t work that way.”

Two top Senate Democrats urged President Trump early Monday to declassify the document that the administration sent to Congress formally giving notice of the airstrike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani. It is unusual for an administration to classify the entirety of such a notification, and Democrats upbraided the document as insufficient. The notification to Congress is required by law.

In a joint statement, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader; and Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said it was “critical that national security matters of such import be shared with the American people in a timely manner.”

“An entirely classified notification is simply not appropriate in a democratic society, and there appears to be no legitimate justification for classifying this notification,” they said.

The House is expected to vote later this week on a resolution invoking the War Powers Act that would curtail the president’s ability to authorize a strike against Iran without Congress’s approval. The Senate could vote on similar legislation as soon as mid-January.

The Iranian government said it would no longer abide by a commitment it made under a 2015 nuclear deal that limited its enrichment of uranium.

The decision to lift all restrictions on the production of nuclear fuel spelled the effective end of the nuclear deal, experts said, though Iran left open the possibility that it would return to the limits if sanctions were lifted.

“It’s finished. If there’s no limitation on production, then there is no deal,” said David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a nonprofit in Washington.

The announcement came after the Iranian Supreme National Security Council held an emergency meeting on Sunday after General Suleimani’s assassination.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will end its final limitations in the nuclear deal, meaning the limitation in the number of centrifuges,” the government said in a statement. “Therefore Iran’s nuclear program will have no limitations in production including enrichment capacity and percentage and number of enriched uranium and research and expansion.”

The announcement followed several steps by Iran to move away from the terms of the agreement, nearly two years after Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from the deal. Since that renunciation, the Trump administration has imposed severe sanctions aimed at crippling Iran’s economy.

The nuclear agreement ended some economic sanctions on Iran in return for its verifiable pledge to use nuclear power peacefully.

Iran’s statement on Sunday did not include details about its enrichment ambitions. And the country did not say that it was expelling the inspectors who monitor its nuclear program.

President Trump seemed to respond to the announcement on Monday with an all-caps post on Twitter:

The European parties to the deal, including Britain, France and Germany, as well as China and Russia, also signatories to the deal, had struggled to preserve the agreement as tensions between the United States and Iran worsened.

Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a daily news briefing that there was still hope for the nuclear deal. He noted that Tehran had said it would continue to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, which monitors Iranian activities under the agreement, and that it could return to the pact under the right conditions.

“We believe that although Iran has been compelled to reduce adherence owing to external factors, it has also demonstrated restraint,” Mr. Geng said.

In a joint statement on Sunday night, Britain, France and Germany called on Iran to refrain from violence and to return to “full compliance with its commitments” under the 2015 nuclear agreement, which Tehran has seemed to all but have abandoned.

The statement followed Iran’s announcement that day that it would no longer abide by the limits to uranium enrichment set out in the deal, a move that seemed to finally kill off the agreement after months during which Tehran had carefully breached less significant limits.

President Trump withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal in 2018.

The European statement seemed somewhat forlorn, since its efforts to preserve the deal have been weak, hamstrung in part by a desire to maintain good relations with Washington. The statement did not support the drone strike on the Iranian general but did acknowledge American concerns, saying that, “we have condemned the recent attacks’’ on coalition forces in Iraq and “are gravely concerned by the negative role played by Iran in the region.’’

The statement called for “de-escalation” of tensions from all parties and reaffirmed the Europeans’ determination “to continuing the fight against Islamic State, which remains a priority.’’ And it called on Iraq “to continue to supply the necessary support to the coalition’’ — in other words, to not expel American and NATO troops.

The secretary general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, called an emergency meeting of the alliance’s advisers on Monday afternoon.

Josep Borrell Fontelles, the European Union foreign policy chief, posted on Twitter that while the bloc regretted Iran’s announcement on the deal, it would wait for independent verification from the international nuclear monitoring group to determine what actions would be taken.

Peter Stano, his spokesman, said during a news briefing in Brussels said that de-escalation was the goal.

“It’s in our interest as Europeans to maintain this agreement,” Mr. Stano said.

On Monday, Heiko Maas, the German foreign minister, said that the Europeans would talk to Iran and planned to come up with a coordinated response.

“This could be the first step toward the end of this agreement, which would be a great loss,” Mr. Maas told a German radio station. “And so we will weigh things up very, very responsibly.”

Russian officials have been sharply critical of the targeted killing in Iraq but have not otherwise intimated how the Kremlin might respond, or whether Moscow, which has longstanding ties with Tehran, might play a mediating role.

President Vladimir V. Putin invited Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to visit Moscow on Saturday to discuss the strike, among other issues, the Kremlin announced.

Oil prices surged and stock markets in Asia fell on Monday morning, as the impact of General Suleimani’s death ricocheted around the world.

The price of Brent oil, the international benchmark, jumped above $70 in futures trading as markets digested a steady flow of news over the weekend. It fell back below that level, to $69.92 a barrel, when markets opened in Europe, though the price was still about 5 percent higher than before the killing last week.

The sudden escalation in tensions in a region that supplies much of the world’s petroleum has roiled oil markets. The West Texas Intermediate, the American oil benchmark, rose 1.9 percent to $64.22 a barrel in futures trading.

Analysts at Capital Economics have warned that the price of oil could spike to $150 a barrel if the bellicose rhetoric between the two countries turned into action.

“The price of oil would soar in the event of full-blown military conflict in the Middle East,” said Alexander Kozul-Wright, a commodities economist at Capital Economics.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, fresh from winning a mandate to take Britain out of the European Union, faces a particularly vexing challenge in dealing with the escalation between the United States and Iran.

In the first foreign policy crisis of the post-Brexit era, London is caught between its traditional alliance with Washington — one that Mr. Johnson wants to deepen further with a trade agreement — and the new relationship with Europe.

In his first statement on President Trump’s decision to strike the general, Mr. Johnson took pains to emphasize the threat posed by the Iranian military leader and said, “We will not lament his death.” But Mr. Johnson also called on all sides to avoid aggravating the situation, echoing the language used by the French and German governments.

Mr. Johnson suggested he wanted to play a mediating role and noted that he had spoken to Mr. Trump, as well as to President Emmanuel Macron of France and to Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. The European governments have been more circumspect in their reactions to the American strike, with the Germans criticizing Mr. Trump’s threat to impose sanctions on Iraq if Baghdad were to expel American troops from bases in the country.

Mr. Johnson was said to be upset that Mr. Trump had not notified him of the strike in advance, but he can ill afford a falling out with the president, given Britain’s need to initiate trade talks with Washington.

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines on Monday held an emergency meeting with defense officials to discuss a potential evacuation plan for the thousands of Filipino workers stationed in Iran and Iraq. The Philippines has a huge population of expatriate laborers who live and work in the region.

“President Duterte ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines to be prepared to deploy military assets to repatriate overseas Filipinos in the Middle East, particularly from Iran and Iraq, at any moment’s notice,” said Senator Christopher Lawrence Go, a close ally of Mr. Duterte who was at the meeting, according to The Associated Press.

On Monday, New Zealand became the latest country to advise its citizens to leave Iraq, but officials denied reports that it had decided to withdraw troops stationed there as part of a training mission. The training mission was said to have been postponed as tensions in the region soared.

“New Zealanders currently in Iraq despite our advice who have concerns for their safety are strongly advised to depart as soon as possible,” the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said.

Reporting was contributed by Alissa J. Rubin, Ben Hubbard, Russell Goldman, Alexandra Stevenson, Farnaz Fassihi, Christopher Buckley, Megan Specia, Steven Erlanger, Melissa Eddy, Mark Landler, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Eric Schmitt, Vivian Yee, David D. Kirkpatrick, Catie Edmondson, Andrew Kramer and Edward Wong.

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What Is Trump’s Iran Strategy? Few Seem to Know

Westlake Legal Group 06int-iran1-facebookJumbo What Is Trump’s Iran Strategy? Few Seem to Know United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Iran

When the United States announced on Friday that it had killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, something about its explanation left many analysts puzzled.

The strike was intended to deter further Iranian attacks, administration officials said. But they also said it was also expected to provoke severe enough attacks by Iran that the Pentagon was deploying an additional several thousand troops to the region.

The apparent contradiction left many experts wondering about the strike’s intended goal, and the strategy behind it.

The next day did little to settle the matter. The strike had been intended to prevent an imminent Iranian attack, officials said publicly. Or to change the behavior of Iran’s surviving leaders. Or to cow those leaders, whose behavior would never change.

Others said privately that President Trump had ordered it in response to television reports of an Iranian-backed siege on the American Embassy compound in Baghdad.

Mr. Suleimani’s killing has left a swirl of confusion among analysts, former policymakers and academics. The United States had initiated a sudden, drastic escalation against a regional power, risking fierce retaliation, or even war.

Why?

“There’s not a single person that I’ve spoken to who can tell you what Trump is up to with Iran,” said Ellie Geranmayeh, an analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

It’s not that experts or foreign officials suspect a secret agenda, but that the administration’s action fit no clear pattern or long-term strategy, she said. “It just doesn’t add up.”

The killing, many say, deepens the uncertainty that has surrounded Mr. Trump’s ambitions toward Iran since he withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear accord and began a series of provocations that he terms maximum pressure.

The risk, experts say, is that if they cannot figure out the administration’s goals and priorities for Iran, its red lines and points of possible compromise, then foreign governments won’t be able to either.

“Absolutely not,” Ms. Geranmayeh said when asked whether European or Middle Eastern officials, whom she speaks with regularly, understood Mr. Trump’s strategy. “Not even the closest U.S. allies, like in London.”

This imposes a layer of confusion on the conflict, just as it enters a dangerous and volatile new chapter, inviting mixed messages and misread intentions.

“If it’s that hard for us to understand, imagine the Iranians,” said Dalia Dassa Kaye, who directs a Middle East policy center at RAND Corporation, a nonpartisan research group.

Mixed signals, she said, make any effort to shape an adversary’s behavior “incredibly ineffective.” Uncertainty about Mr. Trump’s intentions also increases risks that the conflict could spiral out of control.

Without a clear understanding of what actions will lead the United States to ramp up or ramp down hostilities, she said, Iranian leaders are operating in the dark — and waiting to stumble past some unseen red line.

“That’s what makes this a dangerous situation,” she said.

Part of the uncertainty is specific to Mr. Trump. His impulsive style and resistance to accepting difficult trade-offs have made his goals on Iran difficult to parse.

He has cycled between ambitions of withdrawing from the Middle East, positioning himself as a once-in-a-generation peacemaker and, more recently, promising to oppose Iran more forcefully than any recent president has.

He has also been pulled between his advisers, with some urging cautious adherence to the status quo and others arguing for overtly topping Iran’s government.

Mr. Trump’s reputation for distortions and untruths have also made it difficult to separate bluster from agenda-setting.

He took the United States out of the nuclear agreement and imposed sanctions against Iran — which some see as setting off a crisis that continue today — on claims that it was “on the cusp” of acquiring nuclear weapons “in just a short period of time.”

But international inspectors and United States military leaders said that Iran was complying with requirements to freeze its nuclear development.

Without a clear explanation for Mr. Trump’s behavior, anyone whose job requires forecasting the next American action — from foreign head of state to think tank analyst — was left guessing.

Deepening the challenge, the administration followed up with a set of demands that included some nuclear restrictions but focused mostly on Iran’s regional influence and proxy forces, ordering Tehran to sever ties to nearly all of them in a sweeping surrender.

Was this the real agenda? If so, what were the plans for winning each demand, and the metrics for measuring whether those plans were working? How would the administration balance competing priorities?

American action on the ground deepened confusion.

United States diplomacy has emphasized calls for peace but has conspicuously declined to offer what diplomats call “offramps” — easy, low-stakes opportunities for both sides to begin de-escalating, which are considered essential first steps.

“There’s been no talk of, say, ‘If you do this, then we’ll bring back waivers,’” Ms. Kaye said, referring to American waivers allowing other countries to buy Iranian oil. “‘If you do X, then you’ll get Y.’ There’s been nothing tangible like that.”

Throughout months of proxy conflict, American military responses have ranged from muted or nonexistent — as in the case of an attack on Saudi oil facilities that was believed to be the work of Iran — to extreme escalations like killing Mr. Suleimani.

Even if each action might be defensible on its own, experts and foreign officials have strained to match them with a consistent set of motives and objectives.

Suspicions have deepened that there may be no long-term strategy at all, even among those sympathetic to Mr. Trump’s policies.

R. Nicholas Burns, a senior State Department official under President George W. Bush, wrote on Twitter that the United States might have had a “legitimate right” to kill General Suleimani.

But, he asked, “has Trump considered next 15 moves on chessboard? How to protect our people? Line up allies to support us? Contain Iran but avoid wider war? My guess is he hasn’t.”

Ms. Geranmayeh stressed that the conflict between the United States and Iran also threatens to draw in a host of Middle Eastern and European countries.

To navigate tensions and avoid worsening them, allies and adversaries alike must astutely judge American intentions and anticipate American actions.

All of them, she said, seemed at a loss.

“Most experts and officials that I’ve spoken to from the Middle East, including close allies — Saudi Arabia, Israel — they also can’t tell you with confidence what Trump wants on Iran,” she said.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had already been ramping down tensions with Iran, Ms. Geranmayeh said, “because they have no idea how Trump will behave from one week to the next” and fear getting caught in the middle.

Similar confusion in Tehran, she added, could become “the biggest problem.”

“If Trump is not managing a consistent and clear message to the Iranians about what he wants,” she said, “then this opens up a lot of space for a lot of miscalculation.”

The most important question, Ms. Kaye said, is what steps by Iran might cause Mr. Trump to pull back. “There’s not an understanding about what is the end game, what is the U.S. trying to achieve, when will the Trump administration be happy, and enough is enough,” she said.

And while judging what will provoke American escalations against Iran is not straightforward, she said, those escalations have come steadily enough as to seem almost inevitable.

“Action on the ground has been continuously punitive,” she said.

Brett McGurk, who until last year was the administration’s special envoy to the coalition against the Islamic State, warned his former bosses, in an article for Foreign Affairs, that their maximalist demands had left “no plausible on-ramp for Iran to enter negotiations, since nobody, including the Iranians, knows what Iran is supposed to negotiate about.”

Ms. Kaye said Iran might conclude that it should tread with extreme caution. Or it might reason that the United States poses a threat that is both existential and unyielding, compelling Tehran to gamble on taking extreme measures.

“What I’m concerned about is that mixed signals, plus the perception of existential threat,” Ms. Kaye said, “might lead to dramatic steps that we might not have thought possible.”

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For Trump, the Burden May Be Proving This Is Not the Moment His Critics Predicted

Westlake Legal Group 05dc-assess1-promo-facebookJumbo-v2 For Trump, the Burden May Be Proving This Is Not the Moment His Critics Predicted United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Middle East Iraq Iran

WASHINGTON — For three years, President Trump’s critics have expressed concern over how he would handle a genuine international crisis, warning that a commander in chief known for impulsive action might overreach with dangerous consequences.

In the angry and frenzied aftermath of the American drone strike that killed Iran’s top general, with vows of revenge hanging in the air, Mr. Trump confronts a decisive moment that will test whether those critics were right or whether they misjudged him.

“The moment we all feared is likely upon us,” Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut and vocal critic of Mr. Trump, wrote on Twitter over the weekend. “An unstable President in way over his head, panicking, with all his experienced advisers having quit, and only the sycophantic amateurs remaining. Assassinating foreign leaders, announcing plans to bomb civilians. A nightmare.”

Mr. Trump’s advisers and allies dismissed the criticism as the predictable partisan blowback from political adversaries too timid to take strong action against foreign enemies who have targeted Americans for years with impunity. And some of Mr. Trump’s senior lieutenants were betting that any Iranian response proves less than meets the eye.

“It may be that there’s a little noise here in the interim, that the Iranians make the choice to respond,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” as he made the rounds of all five major television news talk shows. “I hope that they don’t. President Trump has made clear what we will do in response if they do, that our response will be decisive and vigorous.”

But the ripple effects from the drone strike in Baghdad that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the visiting commander of Iran’s elite security and intelligence forces, were playing out in rapid succession on Sunday. Iraq’s Parliament voted to expel American forces from the country for violating its sovereignty. Iran declared that it was abandoning some constraints on its nuclear program. And the American military halted operations against the Islamic State to focus on protecting itself from Iranian retaliation.

The result is a situation as volatile as it has been at any point in many years, one that will challenge an instinctive, combative and relatively inexperienced commander in chief to navigate his way through a perilous period without making the kind of mistake he has accused his predecessors of making. And he faces enormous skepticism from the critics who have long warned that he was too erratic to face moments of crisis.

The massive demonstrations and calls for retaliation in the region ultimately may not add up to more than “a little noise,” as Mr. Pompeo asserted. The Iraqi parliamentary vote to force American troops to leave was nonbinding and the caretaker government may not follow through if only to preserve a hedge against Iranian dominance. Even as Tehran vowed to move ahead with its nuclear program, it kept its options open by not expelling international inspectors.

And some experts on the region suggested that Mr. Trump’s very unpredictability was a deterrent in itself, arguing that the killing of General Suleimani may have been so brazen and shocking to Iranian leaders that they will be wary of provoking an American president evidently willing to escalate in ways his predecessors were not.

“Trump actually has a very strong hand vis-à-vis the clerical regime,” said Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former C.I.A. specialist on Iran at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, an organization that has rallied opposition to Iran’s government. “Whether he chooses to play it, I don’t know. He’s not a strategist. But his tactical game hasn’t been bad. The hit on Suleimani was genius — totally flummoxed his opponent.”

But these are high-risk gambles with much at stake.

For the moment, the United States faces a dramatic break with Iraq, a country it has deeply invested in for nearly 17 years, and hard-liners in Tehran have consolidated their domestic position by capitalizing on anger at America. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, may not immediately mount a response, but it is widely assumed that he will act at some point, whether through violence or cyber means.

“When that response occurs, and depending on what it is, the ball will be squarely back in Trump’s court, presenting him with an equally fateful decision,” said Robert Malley, the president of the International Crisis Group and a former Middle East adviser to President Barack Obama. “Does he escalate further, as he has warned, and risk a far longer, bloodier and costlier military confrontation? Or does he seek an off ramp?”

Mr. Trump has said he took out General Suleimani, whose forces have been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American troops over the years, not to start a war but to stop one; his advisers asserted, without providing evidence, that the Iranian commander was plotting an “imminent” attack. At the same time, the president has ratcheted up his talk of war, vowing to respond to any Iranian provocations with overwhelming force, including strikes at Iranian cultural sites that some experts said would amount to a war crime.

He did not retreat from that on Sunday. “They’re allowed to kill our people. They’re allowed to torture and maim our people. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural site?” he told reporters traveling with him on Air Force One as he returned to Washington after his holidays in Florida. “It doesn’t work that way.”

Warming to the conflict, he even said he was ready to escalate against Iraq, the country America has worked so hard to stand up as a key ally in the region, threatening “very big sanctions” if it expels American troops.

“We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it,” he said of an air base in Iraq. “If they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”

A longer, bloodier and costlier military confrontation in the Middle East is not what Mr. Trump forecast when he won the presidency in 2016 nor what he seemed to offer since taking office. Throughout the campaign, he promised to extricate the United States from a geopolitical viper’s nest that has cost so many lives and so much treasure and as late as Sunday, he repeated his conclusion that “going into the Middle East was the worst decision ever made in the history of our country.”

But many of his policy pronouncements on the campaign trail and since were vague and at times contradictory, allowing different voters to hear what they wanted.

As a candidate, he repeatedly called for an end to Middle East engagements, while also saying at other times that he might need as many as 30,000 troops in the region to defeat the Islamic State. He excoriated President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq while declaring himself a fan of that administration’s interrogation techniques, at one point declaring, “Torture works.”

Michael Doran, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who previously served in the State and Defense Departments and on the National Security Council staff, said Mr. Trump’s decision to kill General Suleimani represented “a partial evolution” for a president who denounced “endless wars.”

Where Mr. Trump may once have seen a clash with Iran as an opportunity to negotiate a better nuclear agreement than Mr. Obama did, he now sees an inextricable connection to Tehran’s malign actions in the region, fomenting wars and supporting terrorists, Mr. Doran said.

“But he is also more keenly aware of the power differential between us and the Iranians,” Mr. Doran said. “Once he realized that Khamenei thought Suleimani gave him a competitive advantage, Trump simply took Suleimani off the board. With a drone, not an invasion force.”

In scrambling the equation, Mr. Trump took the initiative, not as Mr. Bush or Mr. Obama did in their own very different ways, but in classic Trumpian fashion, keeping everyone off balance, projecting toughness and gambling that he will be able to handle whatever comes next.

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting from Palm Beach, Fla.

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Successor to Slain Iranian General Vows Revenge: Live Updates

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ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166734441_c99e6dfb-c5e2-48ec-bb55-b58a85940e32-articleLarge Successor to Slain Iranian General Vows Revenge: Live Updates United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Khamenei, Ali Iran Esmail Ghaani Defense and Military Forces

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, leading a prayer during the funeral for Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani and others killed with him, in Tehran on Monday.Credit…Office of Iran’s Supreme Leader, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Throngs of people chanting “Death to America” crowded the streets of Tehran on Monday as the country mourned Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, whose funeral was held in the Iranian capital. The military commander was hailed as a martyr, and his successor swore revenge.

“God the almighty has promised to get his revenge, and God is the main avenger,” vowed Esmail Ghaani, the Iranian general who will take over the Quds Force, the foreign expeditionary arm of Iran’s elite paramilitary organization, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. “Certainly actions will be taken,” he added.

State-run news outlets reported that “millions” had gathered in Tehran, and images showed of a sea of mourners, many wearing black and waving the nation’s flag in an outpouring of grief.

General Suleimani was killed by the United States on Friday in Baghdad in a drone strike. American officials said the general had ordered assaults on Americans in Iraq and Syria and was planning a wave of imminent attacks.

His killing has set off fears of escalating retaliatory actions by Iran and the United States, and of a broader regional conflict. In the aftermath of the attack, Iran said it would no longer abide by a 2015 agreement to suspend uranium production.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, wept openly at the funeral while offering prayers over the general’s coffin. Ayatollah Khamenei had a close relationship with the general, who was widely considered to be the second most powerful man in Iran.

General Suleimani’s daughter, Zeinab Suleimani, said in a eulogy that the United States and Israel faced a “dark day.”

“You crazy Trump, the symbol of ignorance, the slave of Zionists, don’t think that the killing of my father will finish everything,” she said at the funeral.

The general’s funeral was attended by a broad swath of Iranians, including reformers who oppose the government of President Hassan Rouhani but who perceived the killing as an attack on all of Iran.

“I felt like he was our safety umbrella spread above Iran,” said Amir Ali, 22, a university student. “I felt safe knowing he was out there.”

President Trump on Sunday doubled down on his threats to attack Iranian cultural sites and warned of a “major retaliation” if the Iranian government planned tit-for-tat attacks in the aftermath of the killing of a senior military commander.

Mr. Trump defended the drone strike that killed General Suleimani.

Earlier on Sunday, Mr. Trump said in a tweet that the United States had selected 52 Iranian sites, some “at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture” to attack in the event of Iranian retaliation.

That prompted the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, to say that “targeting cultural sites is a war crime.”

But on Sunday evening, aboard Air Force One on his way back from his holiday trip to Florida, Mr. Trump did not back down.

“They’re allowed to kill our people,” he said to reporters. “They’re allowed to torture and maim our people. They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural site? It doesn’t work that way.”

Iran’s government said it would no longer abide by a commitment it made under a 2015 nuclear deal, limiting its enrichment of uranium.

The decision to lift all restrictions on the production of nuclear fuel spelled the effective end of the nuclear deal, experts said, though Iran left open the possibility that it would return to the limits if sanctions were lifted.

“It’s finished. If there’s no limitation on production, then there is no deal,” said David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a nonprofit in Washington.

The announcement came after Iran’s National Security Council held an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss the country’s nuclear policy in the aftermath of General Suleimani’s assassination.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will end its final limitations in the nuclear deal, meaning the limitation in the number of centrifuges,” Iran said in a statement. “Therefore Iran’s nuclear program will have no limitations in production including enrichment capacity and percentage and number of enriched uranium and research and expansion.”

The announcement followed several steps by Iran to move away from the terms of the agreement, nearly two years after Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from the deal. Since that renunciation, the Trump administration has imposed severe sanctions aimed at crippling Iran’s economy.

The nuclear agreement ended some economic sanctions on Iran in return for its verifiable pledge to use nuclear power peacefully.

Iran’s statement Sunday did not include details about its enrichment ambitions. And the country did not say it was expelling the inspectors who monitor its nuclear program.

Oil prices surged and stock markets in Asia fell on Monday morning, as the impact of General Suleimani’s death ricocheted around the world.

The price of Brent oil, the international benchmark, jumped above $70 in futures trading as markets digested a steady flow of news over the weekend.

The sudden escalation in tensions in a region that supplies much of the world’s petroleum has roiled oil markets. The West Texas Intermediate, the American oil benchmark, rose 1.9 percent to $64.22 a barrel in futures trading.

Analysts at Capital Economics have warned that the price of oil could spike to $150 a barrel if the bellicose rhetoric between the two countries turned into action.

“The price of oil would soar in the event of full-blown military conflict in the Middle East,” said Alexander Kozul-Wright, a commodities economist at Capital Economics.

Chinese state-controlled news media on Monday condemned the United States for the killing of General Suleimani, amplifying China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, who warned of a “vicious cycle of confrontation” between the United States and Iran.

“Solving the conflicts between the United States and Iran can’t be achieved through military strikes or extreme pressure,” People’s Daily, the Communist Party mouthpiece, said in an editorial. The editorial appeared under the pen name “Zhong Sheng,” which is widely used to offer the paper’s views on foreign affairs.

The editorial likened the latest crisis to the United States-led occupation of Iraq in 2003 and Western intervention in Libya in 2011.

“The facts prove time and again that unilateral resorts to armed force will not solve problems,” the paper said. “Instead the outcome will be the opposite, leading to a cycle of confrontation that will be difficult to clean up.”

China has been reducing its imports of oil from Iran as United States sanctions have deepened, but it remains heavily dependent on crude from the Middle East, especially from Saudi Arabia. Beijing has also tried to shore up the international agreement that curtailed Iran’s nuclear development.

On Sunday, the Chinese embassy in Washington warned Chinese citizens to be extra careful about their safety in the wake of the crisis with Iran.

Fears of worldwide conflict were shared across social media over the weekend, but Xinhua, China’s main official news agency, published a commentary saying that outright war between the United States and Iran still seemed unlikely.

“Faced with the 2020 election, Trump has deliberately used attacking Iran to shift the focus from domestic tensions and add to his electoral chips,” read the commentary, “but he has no intention of launching a war.”

Iraqi lawmakers voted 170-0 on Sunday in favor of expelling American troops from their country.

The vote was not final and many lawmakers did not attend the session. But Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi drafted the language and submitted the bill to Parliament, leaving little doubt about his support.

The drone strike that killed General Suleimani also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, a coalition of Iranian-backed militias.

The attack was viewed in Iraq as a violation of the nation’s sovereignty, and the country’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that it had summoned the American ambassador in Baghdad.

Iraq’s Parliament was divided over demands from angry citizens to expel American troops. Many of its 328 members, primarily Kurds and Sunnis, did not attend Sunday’s session and did not vote. In his speech to lawmakers, Mr. Mahdi laid out two possibilities: to either quickly end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq, or to set a timeline for their expulsion.

The measure approved by Parliament did not include a timeline, and only instructed the government to end the presence of foreign forces in Iraq. Officials said no decision had been made about whether any American troops would be able to stay, or under what conditions.

Iranian officials reacted to the vote with congratulatory messages and said General Suleimani’s death had delivered a huge victory over the United States.

Hesameddin Ashena, a top adviser to President Rouhani, in a Twitter post, said: “Expanding friendship with our neighbors and domestic unity are the best gifts for protecting our national security. America and Israel are the only winners of a rift between neighbors.”

Asked about the vote on Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States would continue to battle the Islamic State. “It is the United States that is prepared to help the Iraqi people get what it is they deserve and continue our mission there to take down terrorism from ISIS and others in the region,” he said in an interview on the CBS program “Face the Nation.”

Reporting was contributed by Russell Goldman, Alexandra Stevenson, Farnaz Fassihi, Christopher Buckley, Alissa J. Rubin, Ben Hubbard, Megan Specia, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Eric Schmitt, Vivian Yee, David D. Kirkpatrick, Edward Wong, Tess Felder, Yonette Joseph, Mariel Padilla and Maggie Haberman.

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