- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo posted a year-in-review photo to Instagram, and it featured the Iranian general recently killed in a drone strike ordered by President Donald Trump.
- The picture also featured recently killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, his dog, and what appeared to be Pompeo’s family.
- Pompeo posted the image to Instagram shortly before he announced new sanctions against Iran in the wake of Maj. Gen. Soleimani’s killing.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday posted a photo featuring recently killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, recently killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, his dog, and members of his family shortly before he joined Treasury Steven Mnuchin to announce new economic sanctions against Iran.
In the caption for the photo, Pompeo said: “A little late… but here’s a brief look back at 2019 + a few days into the new year!”
Soleimani, Iran’s most important military leader, was killed by a drone strike ordered by President Donald Trump on January 3. The sanctions come after a tense standoff that led to fears of war following Soleimani’s killing.
“As long as Iran’s outlaw ways continue, we will continue to impose sanctions,” Pompeo said on Friday.
The new sanctions are directed at eight senior Iranian officials while targeting Iran’s steel industry, as well as its textiles and mining, construction, and manufacturing sectors.
The United States will continue to apply economic sanctions until Iran stops its terrorist activities and commits that it will never have nuclear weapons. pic.twitter.com/szEuYVxFFU
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 10, 2020
Iran retaliated to Soleimani’s killing early on Wednesday with a missile attack on US and coalition forces in Iraq, before offering an off-ramp to Trump away from a wider conflict.
Trump subsequently signaled he would not pursue a direct or conventional war with Iran, but also announced the US would hit Tehran with new sanctions.
“As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime,” Trump said on Wednesday. “These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior.”
The Trump administration has been hitting Iran with sanctions as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign to cripple its economy and get it to negotiate a more stringent version of the 2015 nuclear deal.
Trump pulled the US out of the nuclear deal in May 2018, and relations between Iran and the US have deteriorated ever since. The tough sanctions have seen Iran lash out in various ways, ratcheting up tensions.
Iran withdrew from the nuclear deal after Soleimani’s killing, after taking several incremental steps away from it over the course of 2019. The Iranians said they’d consider returning to the nuclear pact, designed to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, if sanctions against them were lifted.