In several tweets on Friday the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he has reiterated the US commitment to de-escalation in talks with the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas and Chinese Politburo Member Yang Jiechi.
Pompeo is asserting that the U.S. action was taken to disrupt an "imminent" attack orchestrated by Soleimani that would have put "dozens if not hundreds of American lives at risk". "We knew it was imminent. This was an intelligence-based assessment that drove our decision-making process," he told CNN on Friday.
"Discussed with Dominic Raab the recent decision to take defensive action to eliminate Qassem Soleimani. Thankful that our allies recognize the continuing aggressive threats posed by the Iranian Quds Force. The U.S. remains committed to de-escalation," he said in one of the tweets. .
Earlier, Raab said the UK recognized the "aggressive threat" General Soleimani posed, but "further conflict is in none of our interests" while Labor Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn called the U.S. action an "assassination" and an "extremely serious and dangerous escalation".
Pompeo told Fox News on Friday that President Trump has demonstrated to Iranian leaders that he will take swift, decisive actions to protect Americans and added that he hopes the Iranian leadership “will see American resolve and that their decision will be to de-escalate, to take actions consistent with what normal nations do".
The U.S. Secretary of State, however, warned that in the event Iran goes in the other direction, President Trump and the entire United States government is "prepared to respond appropriately.’’
Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who has ordered a three-day state mourning for General Soleimani threated the U.S. with "harsh vengeance" in a tweet this morning.
The Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, also in a tweet, said: "The flag of General Soleimani in defense of the country's territorial integrity and the fight against terrorism and extremism in the region will be raised, and the path of resistance to US excesses will continue. The great nation of Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime."