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Boris Johnson calls on ministers for a crisis meeting in the midst of Iran threats

Boris Johnson today supported America’s right to “self-defense,” as the consequences of the assassination of Donald Trump on Qassem Soleimani escalated.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman refused to criticize the dramatic drone attack, despite threats from Tehran that British troops could be “additional damage” in reprisals.

But Downing Street warned that attacks on cultural sites – an idea Trump has defended – could violate international law.

And the government has again appealed to Iraq not to expel British and American forces, pointing out that they are in the country to fight ISIS terrorists.

Mr Johnson is back in Westminster after his Caribbean vacation, but notices that he is running a rope between Mr Trump and other allies who want to ease the tensions.

Mr. Johnson broke his silence last night and insisted that Britain “will not regret the death of Qassem Soleimani.”

He said the general, killed in an American drone attack in Baghdad on Friday, had played a role in the deaths of thousands of innocent people and was “a threat to all our interests.”

But he also appealed to both Mr. Trump and Iran for calm and urged both parties to encourage de-escalation.

Today’s reporter said the spokesman: “States have the right to take such self-defense actions, and the US is clear that Soleimani was planning to attack US diplomats and military personnel. ”

Iran has vowed to avenge the death of Soleimani and a high-ranking commander has given a hair-raising warning that British troops can be hit.

Boris Johnson today gathers key ministers for crisis talks while the Iranian crisis is in danger of getting out of hand

Boris Johnson today gathers key ministers for crisis talks while the Iranian crisis is in danger of getting out of hand

Soleimani (left), the architect of the overseas clandestine and military operations of Tehran as head of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard, was killed Friday in an American drone attack (President Trump right) on his convoy at Baghdad airport

Foreign Minister Dominic Raab (shown today in Whitehall) is expected to be in close contact with the Prime Minister as diplomatic maneuver continues

Foreign Minister Dominic Raab (shown today in Whitehall) is expected to be in close contact with the Prime Minister as diplomatic maneuver continues

Foreign Minister Dominic Raab (shown today in Whitehall) is expected to be in close contact with the Prime Minister as diplomatic maneuver continues

Mr. Johnson Dominic Cummings (right) chief adviser was also working on Downing Street today as the Iranian crisis threatened to snow

Mr. Johnson Dominic Cummings (right) chief adviser was also working on Downing Street today as the Iranian crisis threatened to snow

Mr. Johnson Dominic Cummings (right) chief adviser was also working on Downing Street today as the Iranian crisis threatened to snow

Soleimani’s body was brought back to Iran on Sunday. People see carrying his coffin on arrival at Ahvaz International Airport in Tehran. The coffin was greeted by chants of “Death to America” ​​when Iran made new reprisals

Iranians surround a vehicle with the coffin of Qassem Soleimani in the city of Mashhad, in northeastern Iran

Iranians surround a vehicle with the coffin of Qassem Soleimani in the city of Mashhad, in northeastern Iran

Iranians surround a vehicle with the coffin of Qassem Soleimani in the city of Mashhad, in northeastern Iran

An unnamed commander told The Times: “Our forces will take revenge on and target US troops in the Middle East without worrying about killing their allies, including British troops, as this has become a full-fledged war with much anticipated collateral damage. “

Former Security Minister Admiral Lord West has expressed concern that British assets could be a “softer target” than those of the US.

In the meantime, Mr Trump has reacted furiously after Iraq said that American and British troops could be deported. The president suggested that the country could be hit with paralyzing sanctions if it continues to move.

The UK warned against the expulsion and said it would give ISIS a big boost, just as the terrorist group seems to be on the wrong track.

Washington says that Soleimani was the architect of Iran’s proxy wars in the Middle East and behind the deaths of hundreds of Americans in roadside bombing and other attacks.

Mr. Trump released a series of explosive tweets yesterday that threatened a total war against the Iranian regime and bragged about the military arsenal at his disposal.

Chaos as British troops leave their anti-IS missions in Iraq

Britain’s fight against ISIS is in chaos after the training mission to Iraq was dumped.

Soldiers who taught local troops how to fight the militants were instructed to guard their bases instead of fearing that Iran could launch an attack in revenge for the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani.

The Iraqi parliament also voted to launch all US-led forces in response to the drone attack.

If the vote is approved by the government, thousands of foreign troops, including British soldiers, should leave and paralyze the fight against the militants. Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi said it was “time for US troops to leave because of our national sovereignty.”

The British government urged Iraq to allow British soldiers to continue their training mission.

More than 200 are stationed at Camp Taji, north of Baghdad, alongside American and German troops. Others are deployed in Erbil, northern Iraq, and there are a handful at two locations in Baghdad.

Announcing the suspension of the training, quoted a statement from the US-led mission against the Islamic State rocket attacks in Iraq that threatened the security of coalition workers. It added, “As a result, we are now fully committed to protecting the Iraqi bases that house coalition forces.”

Former defense minister Tobias Ellwood said: “This suspension of training cannot be permanent because it simply undermines the military efforts and enormous resources deployed to tackle the Islamic State.

“This would lead to a new reign of terror that will have consequences far beyond the Middle East.”

Referring to the Iranian promises of retaliation published on social media, the US president tweeted: “These media posts will serve as a notification to the US Congress that if Iran hits an American person or target, the United States will strike back quickly and completely, & perhaps in a disproportionate way. Such a legal notice is not required, but is nevertheless given! ”

Johnson flew back from his vacation on the private island of Mustique yesterday after ignoring calls to return home early to face the crisis.

After his landing in London, he held talks with Mr. Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He spoke this morning with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi and will review the situation with Foreign Minister Dominic Raab and Defense Minister Ben Wallace later.

Johnson spokesman said: “The coalition is in Iraq to protect Iraqis and others from the threat of Daesh at the request of the Iraqi government.

“We urge the Iraqi government to ensure that the coalition is able to continue our essential work against this shared threat.

“The Foreign Minister spoke this weekend with the Iraqi President and Prime Minister.

“The Prime Minister is speaking with his Iraqi counterpart today and our ambassador in Baghdad is in contact with political leaders in Iraq to emphasize these points and to encourage them to continue to fight this threat together.”

The Prime Minister said in a statement last night: “General Qassem Soleimani posed a threat to all our interests and was responsible for a pattern of disruptive, destabilizing behavior.

“Given the leading role he played in actions that led to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians and Western personnel, we will not regret his death.

“It is clear, however, that all calls for retaliation or reprisals will simply lead to more violence in the region and they are in no one’s interest.”

He urged all parties to encourage de-escalation and said that the UK had taken steps to increase the safety of British personnel and interests in the region.

Johnson, Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Macron have released a joint statement overnight that they have once again stopped criticizing the US.

“We condemned the recent attacks on coalition forces in Iraq and are deeply concerned about the negative role that Iran has played in the region, including through the IRGC and the Al-Quds under command of General Soleimani,” they said.

‘There is an urgent need for de-escalation. We call on all parties to be extremely cautious and responsible. The current cycle of violence in Iraq must be stopped.

“In particular, we call on Iran to refrain from further violent actions or proliferation and urge Iran to reverse all measures that are not in accordance with the JCPOA.

“We recall our attachment to the sovereignty and security of Iraq. Another crisis threatens to jeopardize years of efforts to stabilize Iraq.

“We also confirm our commitment to continuing the fight against Daesh, which remains a high priority. Maintaining the coalition is crucial here. That is why we urge the Iraqi authorities to continue to provide the coalition with all necessary support.

“We are ready to continue our engagement with all parties to contribute to reducing tensions and restoring stability in the region.”

Ministers will meet today to discuss the situation and the National Security Council will meet later in the week. Parliament will be updated when it comes back from the break tomorrow.

Retired Lieutenant General Sir Simon Vincent Mayall told the Today program of BBC Radio 4 that British troops are at risk because they are “hip-tied” with the US in Iraq.

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Donald Trump’s dramatic attack on Commander Qassem Soleimani could “bear fruit,” Jeremy Hunt said today.

The former foreign secretary

“I think it’s easy to underestimate why it might be a bold move that actually pays off, because if there is one person responsible for regional instability – in Lebanon, in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen – it was Soleimani, he told Sky News.

“He was the hardline radical within the Iran regime who had the Supreme Leader’s ear.”

The defense ministry advisor said, “I don’t think the British are more vulnerable in this case than the Americans – we’re all behind this.

“But the Iranians are absolutely right. Because we are so closely involved, any attack on US assets will inevitably lead to possible British casualties. ”

Lord West, a former head of the Royal Navy, warned that Britain could be a “softer target” than the US for an Iranian retaliation attack.

He said to the Telegraaf: “Iran assumes that Britain would be a party to any US attack.”

But former Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said the dramatic move by the US could “bear fruit”.

“I think it’s easy to underestimate why it might be a bold move that actually pays off, because if there is one person responsible for regional instability – in Lebanon, in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen – it was Soleimani, he told Sky News.

“He was the hardline radical within the Iran regime who had the Supreme Leader’s ear.”

Iran’s nuclear announcement actually ends its remaining commitments for a deal it has agreed with Barack Obama. It said it would no longer comply with restrictions on uranium enrichment or on research and development.

The statement noted that the steps could be reversed if Washington lifted its sanctions against Tehran.

The announcement came hours after hundreds of thousands took to the streets to mourn Soleimani and sing “dead to America.”

The remains of the general were carried by the cities of Ahvaz and Mashhad tomorrow, before a funeral in his hometown of Kerman. A funeral procession organizer called on all Iranians to donate $ 1 “to collect a $ 80 million premium on President Trump’s head.”

In a big blow to the fight against the Islamic state, the parliament of Iraq met yesterday for an emergency session and promised to expel the 5,000 US troops in the country.

The vote still needs approval from the Iraqi government, which has made it possible for a US-led presence to help combat the terrorist group. It was supported by Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, who said it was “time for US troops to leave.”

The US-led coalition announced that its troops had suspended training to focus on protecting bases against Iranian attacks.

Iran has issued a series of threats against the Americans, with the foreign minister warning that the days of US troops in the region were over.

Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted: “Whether it’s kicking or screaming, the end of the evil presence of the US in West Asia has begun.”

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned at a television address that American troops would pay the price for killing Soleimani by returning to coffins.

Iranian lawmakers chant anti-American and anti-Israeli slogans to protest against the American murder of Iranian top-general Qassem Soleimani at the start of an open parliamentary session in Tehran, Iran, on Sunday

Iranian lawmakers chant anti-American and anti-Israeli slogans to protest against the American murder of Iranian top-general Qassem Soleimani at the start of an open parliamentary session in Tehran, Iran, on Sunday

Iranian lawmakers chant anti-American and anti-Israeli slogans to protest against the American murder of Iranian top-general Qassem Soleimani at the start of an open parliamentary session in Tehran, Iran, on Sunday

Tens of thousands of Iranians carry the coffin of Qasem Soleimani while the crowds of mourners wept in the city of Mashad

Tens of thousands of Iranians carry the coffin of Qasem Soleimani while the crowds of mourners wept in the city of Mashad

Tens of thousands of Iranians carry the coffin of Qasem Soleimani while the crowds of mourners wept in the city of Mashad

Iranians gather around a vehicle with the coffins of the killed great general Qassem Soleimani and others, paying homage to the northeastern city of Mashhad

Iranians gather around a vehicle with the coffins of the killed great general Qassem Soleimani and others, paying homage to the northeastern city of Mashhad

Iranians gather around a vehicle with the coffins of the killed great general Qassem Soleimani and others, paying homage to the northeastern city of Mashhad

Protesters attend protest against the assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, head of the Quds Force elite, who died in an air raid at Baghdad airport, outside the US consulate in Istanbul, Turkey

Protesters attend protest against the assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, head of the Quds Force elite, who died in an air raid at Baghdad airport, outside the US consulate in Istanbul, Turkey

Protesters attend protest against the assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, head of the Quds Force elite, who died in an air raid at Baghdad airport, outside the US consulate in Istanbul, Turkey

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused the European allies of not being “helpful” after the murder.

About Sky News, Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said, “Let’s be very clear: Soleimani was a regional threat and we understand the position of the Americans, and they have the right to exercise self-defense.

“They explained the basis on which that happened, and we understand the situation they were in.”

Worker leader Jeremy Corbyn said that Mr. Raab expressed sympathy for the “reckless and lawless killing was crazy and dangerous.”

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