South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds hosted one of his semi-weekly media teleconference briefings Thursday, Jan. 9, to talk about Iran.
“Yesterday I was one of the members of the United States Senate who attended a briefing situation in Iran,” Rounds said. “It was led by a number of the top administration officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, CIA Director Gina Haspel and some other supporting members of the team as well.”
During the briefing they learned the events to President Trump’s ordering of the “targeting” and strike on General Qassem Soleimani while he was in Iraq.
Soleimani was the head as Iranian Major General in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and commander of its Quds Force, and the person responsible for Iran’s foreign military deployments, clandestine and otherwise.
“He was one of Iran’s top leaders,” Rounds said. “He was responsible for killing literally hundreds of U.S. service members in Iraq and spreading terror through, not just the Middle East, but throughout the entire region and around the globe.”
According to Rounds, Soleimani was in the process of planning “time-sensitive attacks on United States interests in the region.”
“We do not, as a nation, seek war with Iran,” Rounds said. “But President Trump made it very clear that those who threaten our citizens, our troops and our coalition partners will face consequences.”
Rounds cited the recent attack on the embassy in Iraq. He said there were sources that put Soleimani in Baghdad after the attack stating he was planning specific “time-sensitive” attacks against U.S. interests.
Rounds said in his meeting there were “imminent” threats. He would not elaborate as to what specifically had been targeted.
Soleimani “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” according to the Pentagon as reported by the Associated Press.
“Following yesterday’s briefing, it was clear to me that there was an imminent threat to the United States and that President Trump acted appropriately to protect the lives of American citizens when he ordered the airstrikes that killed Soleimani,” Rounds said.
Eventually, in the news cycle, it was released and reported by a number of media agencies, that four U.S. embassies had been targeted.
Though as of Sunday Jan. 12, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper made a couple of briefings with different news television agencies and said “explicitly” he had seen no evidence of four U.S. embassies had been targeted, as reported in the Associated Press.