The Iranian parliament approved a bill on Tuesday to designate the entire U.S. military and Pentagon as terrorist entities following last week’s U.S. elimination of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq.
Lawmakers also backed a motion allocating $220 million to the Quds Force to avenge Soleimani’s death.
Citing an “imminent” threat to the United States, the Trump administration ordered the strike of Soleimani, who was in a vehicle at Baghdad Airport.
“There’s been much made about this question of intelligence and imminence,” said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday. “Any time a president makes a decision of this magnitude, there are multitude pieces of information that come before him.”
“It’s the right decision; we got it right. The Department of Defense did excellent work,” he said, adding that it was an “entirely legal decision.”
On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told CNN, “This is an act of aggression against Iran and amounts to an armed attack against Iran, and we will respond. But we will respond proportionally not disproportionately. We will respond lawfully. We are not lawless people like [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump.”
Ahead of a possible confrontation with Iran, the United States this week deployed an additional 3,500 troops to Iraq, Kuwait and other parts of the Middle East. There are currently between 60,000 and 70,000 U.S. troops in the region.
Additionally, the United States has deployed six B-52 bombers to a British base in the Indian Ocean called Diego Garcia, which is “within striking distance of the Persian Gulf but out of the range of Iranian missiles,” reported The Washington Examiner.
“For operational security, we are not discussing forces flowing into or out of the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility at this time,” stated Pentagon spokesperson Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich.
Finally, “U.S. forces and air-defense missile batteries across the Middle East were placed on high alert overnight Monday to possibly shoot down Iranian drones as intelligence mounted about a threat of an imminent attack against U.S. targets,” reported CNN, citing two U.S. officials.
“Iran has been moving military equipment, including drones and ballistic missiles, over the last several days,” according to the outlet, citing U.S. intelligence.