U.S. imposes further Iran sanctions in response to missile strikes

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The administration is also sanctioning eight senior Iranian officials who were involved in Tuesday's strike, Mnuchin said.

The administration is seeking to close a significant loophole that allows Iran and other nations to avoid sanctions: ship-to-ship transfers of crude oil, refined petroleum and other goods.

Pompeo also made it clear that the USA acted against Soleimani to prevent what he called an "imminent attack" against US facilities, including the American embassy in Baghdad.

The Iraqi leader asked Pompeo to "send delegates to Iraq to prepare a mechanism to carry out the parliament's resolution regarding the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq, " the statement said.

Iran this week launched the strikes in retaliation for the USA drone strike that killed General Qassem Soleiman, the head of the powerful Quds Force, in Baghdad last week.

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The restrictions limit the targets' ability to interact with the USA financial system, do business with Americans, access dollars in some cases or travel to the United States. "I don't know exactly which minute, we don't know exactly which day it would have been executed, but it was very clear Qassem Soleimani himself was plotting a broad, large-scale attack against American interests, and those attacks were imminent", Pompeo said.

"Under our administration, oil revenues are down by 80 per cent and Iran can not access roughly 90 per cent of its foreign-currency reserves", Pompeo said.

Gen, Qassem Soleimani, in a USA airstrike at Baghdad Airport on January 3.

But Trump and his administration faced continuing questions over its claims of an "imminent" threat as justification for killing Soleimani.

Pompeo's comment that USA embassies were being targeted echoed statements President Trump made at a Thursday campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio.

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"The complications for Canada right now are making sure that, first and foremost, the families can get the remains and can deal with the grieving", he said.

The president told reporters Thursday in the Oval Office that Soleimani became a target because he aimed to "blow up" the embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.

"To play this game with the War Powers Act, which I think is unconstitutional, is that whether you mean to or not, you're empowering the enemy", Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump ally in the Senate, said on Wednesday.

He said the USA had "specific information" on threatened attacks "against American facilities, including American embassies, military bases".

Tensions between the United States and Iran remain high as fears of world war 3 have not yet subsided. "I didn't learn anything in the hearing that I hadn't seen in a newspaper already", he said of the briefing. "The intelligence community is not flawless".

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"As a result of these actions we will cut off billions of dollars of support to the Iranian regime and we will continue our enforcement of other entities", according to Mnuchin.

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