Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

US-Iran Tensions After Soleimani Killing: All The Latest Updates

US-Iran Tensions After Soleimani Killing:  All The Latest Updates

WASHINGTON - Fears of imminent war between Iran and the United States have sparked following the United States's assassination of Iran's top military commander Qassem Soleimani in an air strike at Baghdad's international airport on January 3.
In retaliation, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at the Ain al-Assad airbase in Iraq's Anbar province and a military facility in Erbil on Wednesday.
Hours later, a Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752 bound for Kyiv crashed minutes after takeoff from the Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran, adding to the tension.
Canadian, US and UK officials have said intelligence indicated that an Iranian missile brought down the airliner, a conclusion dismissed by Iran.
"All these reports are a psychological warfare against Iran," Iranian state TV quoted government spokesman Ali Rabiei in a statement.
Here are all of the latest updates as of Friday, January 10:
Lufthansa cancels Frankfurt-Tehran flight
German airline Lufthansa says its flight from Frankfurt to Tehran is cancelled "as a precautionary measure" because of the security situation for airspace around the Iranian airport.
"As soon as we have detailed information, we will decide if and when our Iranian flights can be operated again," Lufthansa said in a statement.
Saudi defends US attack, condemns Iran
Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir has condemned Wednesday's missile attacks by Iran.
"We take issue with the violation of Iraq's sovereignty by Iran," al-Jubeir said on Friday during a news conference in Prague where he was on a routine diplomatic visit.
Al-Jubeir reiterated the Saudi position, supporting the US's right to defend itself but called for calm in the region.
"We believe that there should be a way to avoid escalation because we believe escalation would be damaging to all parties and not just one or the other," he added.
Al-Jubeir also made reference to the Iranian nuclear deal, saying it is flawed in its current form and that it should be amended.
Iraqi PM tells US to decide mechanism for troop withdrawal
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has told the US secretary of state to send a delegation to Iraq tasked with formulating the mechanism for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, according to a statement.
In a phone call on Thursday night the Iraqi leader requested US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to "send delegates to Iraq to prepare a mechanism to carry out the parliament's resolution regarding the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq," the statement said.
"The prime minister said American forces had entered Iraq and drones are flying in its airspace without permission from Iraqi authorities and this was a violation of the bilateral agreements," the statement added.
Iraqi legislators passed a non-binding resolution to remove US troops following the US strike last Friday.
European leaders to hold summit to save Iran deal
European Union foreign ministers are set for a rare emergency meeting on Friday afternoon, hoping to guide the US and Iran away from confrontation.
However, if it is proven that a Ukrainian airliner was this week downed by an Iranian missile, that will likely complicate matters again for the diplomats.
On Monday, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell tweeted his regret at Iran's recent decision to step away from more aspects of the nuclear deal, which, he said, was "now more important than ever". (Aljazeera)