Senior US officials in President Donald Trump’s administration who are “heavily connected” to the Israel lobby and US arms industry pressured Trump to order the assassination of Iranian Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, says a political analyst in Virginia.
“The reason he did that seems to have been due to the influence of his immediate circle of advisers,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.
“Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, these were the people who pushed the president towards carrying out the assassination,” Preston told Press TV on Wednesday.
“These are individuals that are heavily connected to the Israeli lobby in the United States; these are individuals that are heavily connected to the American military–industrial complex, which profits heavily from American sales of armaments to Israel and Saudi Arabia,” Preston added.
“More and more, the fingerprints of Israel, and to some degree Saudi Arabia, are on this particular action,” he added.
The US military carried out an airstrike on the direction of Trump at Baghdad’s international airport last Friday, assassinating Soleimani and the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, as well as eight other companions.
Early on Wednesday, Iran responded to the assassination, striking the American airbase of Ain al-Assad in Anbar province in western Iraq and another in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
The Trump administration claims it carried out the assassination to avert an “imminent attack,” which is being faced with growing suspicion and skepticism in the US.
Dozens of countries attending a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday condemned the Trump administration for killing Soleimani, the Middle East’s most prominent anti-terror commander.
A USA Today/Ipsos poll released Thursday found that Americans, by 55%-24%, said they believe the killing of General Soleimani has made the United States less safe, rejecting a fundamental argument the Trump administration has made that the assassination made the US safer.
The poll also found that a majority of those surveyed, by 52%-34%, called Trump’s behavior with Iran “reckless.”
Similarly, a Reuters/Ipsos polling released on Tuesday found that 53 percent of adults in the US disapprove of Trump’s handling of Iran, which is an increase of about 9 percentage points from a similar poll that ran in the middle of December.
The US House of Representatives passed a resolution on Thursday to stop Trump from further military action against Iran, rebuking the president days after he ordered the killing of Soleimani and escalated tensions in the region.
If passed by the House and Senate, the measure does not need Trump’s signature to go into effect.