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  • The Trump administration on Friday announced a new wave of sanctions on Iran following this week's missile strikes by the Islamic Republic o...

    Pelosi issued the statement as lawmakers breathed a sigh of relief on Capitol Hill after Trump said he would back away from any military escalation against Tehran. But congressional Democrats are skeptical of the administration’s case for the drone strike last week that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani and dissatisfied with the rationale Trump’s team offered.

    Iranian Ambassador to India Ali Chegeni's comments come hours after Iran launched missile strikes against two US military bases in Iraq in retaliation to the killing of its top commander General Qassem Soleimani. "We welcome all initiatives from all countries, especially India as a good friend for us, to not allow escalation (of tensions).”

    Pakistan military is part of US security plan in West Asia; it is administered under US military based in the Gulf region.

    Iran may have many options for unleashing mayhem against American interests and allies in the Middle East, and plenty of allies and proxies through which to do so. But it also has a powerful reason to stop and reconsider. Beyond the expressions of outrage in Tehran lies the cold reality that Iran cannot afford a war with a far more powerful opponent.

    Amid widespread misgivings in the US Congress and among American analysts about the assassination of a serving general of a sovereign nation, the Trump administration is belatedly making the case that Iranian General Qassim Suleimani was a terrorist, a war criminal who should have been targeted a long time ago, even though he was not on any global proscribed list.

    One of the biggest challenges for India in case of an escalation would be safeguarding the welfare of Indian diaspora in the Gulf region. Memories of the 1990-91 Gulf War, when tens of thousands of Indians had to be evacuated from Kuwait and other places in the region, still haunt many people.

    "The intelligence assessment made clear that no action - allowing Soleimani to continue his plotting and his planning, his terror campaign - created more risk than taking the action that we took last week," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview.

    Whether the killing is framed as part of an armed conflict between two states or as a police action intended to deter terrorism, it cannot be characterized as an act of self-defense because there was never a full-fledged and direct attack on the United States by Iran. US laws prohibit assassination both in peacetime law as well as on the battlefield.

    India's outgoing Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla served as the top Indian diplomat in Washington for one year.

    We honour Indian democracy as they have a robust debate on the issue that you raised,” Pompeo said at a news conference in Washington on Wednesday at the conclusion of the 2+2 ministerial talks between the defence ministers and foreign ministers of the two countries.

    Washington was swift to respond, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging Kim to “take a different course” and stressing that the US wanted “peace not confrontation” with the North, while Trump played down the development.

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