MUNICH (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended on Saturday his nation’s global role despite misgivings in Europe, vowing that Western values would prevail over Russian and Chinese desires for “empire”.
Seeking to reassure Europeans troubled by U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America first” rhetoric, his ambivalence over the NATO military alliance and tariffs on European goods, Pompeo said there was no crisis in Western leadership.
“I’m happy to report that the death of the transatlantic alliance is grossly exaggerated. The West is winning, and we’re winning together,” he said in a speech at the Munich Security Conference, listing U.S. steps to protect liberal democracies.
BAGHDAD: Three rockets slammed into the US embassy in Iraq’s capital on Sunday in the first direct hit reported after months of close calls, as thousands kept up anti-government sit-ins across the country.
The attack marked a dangerous escalation in the spree of rocket attacks in recent months that have targeted the embassy or Iraqi military bases where American troops are deployed.
None of the attacks has been claimed but Washington has repeatedly blamed Iran-backed military factions in Iraq.
On Sunday, one rocket hit an embassy cafeteria at dinner time while two others landed nearby, a security source told AFP.
The Iranian Fars News Agency aired a short video on January 10, 2020, titled “Severe Revenge,” dramatizing an Iranian assassination of U.S. President Donald Trump. In the video, Iranian officials are seen planning their revenge for the killing of Qods Force commander Qasem Soleimani.
They study a board with a diagram of possible targets, U.S. President Trump is at the head and Israeli PM Netanyahu, Secretary of State Pompeo, Saudi Crown Prince Bin Salman, and Masoud Rajavi, former leader of Mujahedeen-e-Khalq are at the bottom. The Iranian officials say they are “going for the big fish,” and one of them says: “We should target their head.”
In the video, the U.S. Capitol Building is blown up and then the Iranian forces storm the White House, shooting anyone in their sight. President Trump, Secretary of State Pompeo and PM Netanyahu, among others, lie dead on the White House floor. The voice of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is heard in the background, saying: “Severe revenge awaits the criminals whose dirty hands are soiled with his blood.”
Iran’s judiciary said Tuesday arrests have been made over the accidental shootdown of a Ukrainian passenger plane that killed all 176 people on board just after takeoff from Tehran.
Iran’s president on Tuesday also called for a special court to be set up to probe the incident.
“The judiciary should form a special court with a ranking judge and dozens of experts,” President Hassan Rouhani said in a speech televised in Iran. “This is not an ordinary case. The entire the world will be watching this court.”
Rouhani called the incident “a painful and unforgivable” mistake and promised that his administration would pursue the case “by all means.”
“The responsibility falls on more than just one person,” he said, adding that those found culpable “should be punished.”
“There are others, too, and I want that this issue is expressed honestly,” he said, without elaborating.