Donald Trump says four embassies were targeted in threat from Iran

11 January 2020, 00:23

Donald Trump
Donald Trump. Picture: PA

By Sylvia DeLuca

President Trump has revealed that the imminent threat from Iran that provoked the attack on Soleimani involved planned attacks on four US embassies.

The US president's comments come as his administration faces pressure to provide more information about the imminent threat Iran's top general posed that justified the US strike.

When asked by Fox News reporters specifically what was targeted, Trump revealed: “We will tell you that probably it was going to be the embassy in Baghdad.”

Pressed on whether large-scale attacks were planned for other embassies, the president said: “I can reveal that I believe it probably would’ve been four embassies.”

According to CNN, Trump told reporters: "We caught a total monster. We took them out. And that should have happened a long time ago. We did it because they were looking to blow up our embassy."

On Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told White House reporters that Soleimani had been planning "a broad, large-scale attack" against American facilities, including U.S. embassies, in the Middle East, but he didn't provide specific information about the plot.

Condolence book for General Qasem Soleimani
Condolence book for General Qasem Soleimani. Picture: PA

A senior defence official also said on Thursday that the US had intelligence about multiple plots and threats involving Soleimani, including one that involved a plan to attack the embassy using explosives.

General Soleimani was killed in an American drone strike last week, leading to an escalation in tensions between the US and Iran.

Following the attack on Soleimani, Iran's defence minister threatened the US with "crushing revenge" when President Trump defended his decision to assassinate General Qassem Soleimani.

Rescue workers at the scene of the plane crash
Rescue workers at the scene of the plane crash. Picture: PA

Iran carried out missile strikes on two airbases housing US forces in Iraq, then just hours after, a Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 near Tehran airport crashed.

All 176 people on board were killed, four of which were British citizens.

Western powers said they had strong evidence that the plane was hit by an Iranian missile - but Tehran rejected the claim.